· What design solutions for our own time emerge from conceiving of ourselves and our buildings not as outside or beyond nature, but as working in partnership with nature?
· Do we need to search for energy efficiency through the use of high technology, when simple, beautiful methods of energy-efficient design in concert with nature were developed fifty years ago in the 1970s—and in the ancient world, long predating our modern energy grid?
· How can we best design a building to function like a tree: an on-site, energy-generating system and energy-storage system collecting energy directly from the sun?
· Can we build green sustainable architecture without increasing construction costs?
Heat and cool our buildings using what nature provides us:
· Design buildings to collect heat in the winter and minimize heat gain in the summer, by working with the sun’s changing angle: higher in summer, lower in winter.
· Design buildings to utilize cooler nighttime temperatures in order to keep buildings cool throughout the day, minimizing energy consumption.
Affordable, sustainable, regenerative design concerns itself with three main issues:
· Energy efficiency by working with natural systems.
· Resiliency in a changing climate, with use of more robust materials and construction.
· Smaller and simpler machines that use fewer resources and reduce maintenance and replacement costs over the life of the building.
My approach begins with the belief that we live best when we are in concert with nature, rather than separate from nature. Simple solutions inspired by nature and history have been proven to be more energy-efficient and resilient than solutions that depend on complex machinery. I design buildings to themselves function as on-site, energy-generating, energy-storage systems—their functionality less dependent upon solar panels and complex technologies. Guided by the principles of regenerative design, I strive to create solutions that capitalize on natural systems and seasonal cycles, and reflect the site's and the region's climate, unique character, and history. I have learned that design solutions that create an energy-efficient building also, at the same time produce simple beautiful solutions that connect the building—as well as its users’ awareness—more closely to the beauty of nature.
My quest for an architecture that situates humans within a partnership with nature is strengthened by the principles of Cubism. Early 20th-century European modernism was an active rebellion against Renaissance linear perspective's mode of representing nature frozen in time and viewed from a single vantage point. Cubism and other movements of early modernism were efforts to better understand ourselves as positioned within nature—not as dominant, isolated observers.