With projects like Bosco Verticale, Stefano Boeri has long led the way when it comes to bridging the gap between rural forests and the concrete jungle. Here, he outlines his firm’s strategy for rethinking cities as “new green catalysts.” His opus begins with 23 questions that range from the technical (“How much CO2 can a mature tree transform into oxygen over the course of its 10 years of life?”) to the philosophical (“What do plants feel when they live in daily contact with humans?”). Throughout the next five sections, project case studies and guest essays by contributors like chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall and former Toronto mayor David Miller provide some answers — while leaving other questions open to further study.
How can humanity achieve a more harmonious balance with nature? Urban strategist Sarah Ichioka and Exploration Architecture founder Michael Pawlyn believe the answer lies in regenerative design — a practice that moves beyond just avoiding further harm to instead emphasize actions that actively restore the living systems around us. In Flourish, the pair define this approach with five major paradigm shifts. (Number three calls for adopting a more expansive view of “now.”) Their principles are accompanied by showcases of projects like Eco-Village, an L.A. community co-op started in the ’90s to retrofit old buildings and promote on-site food growth.
In 2020, design critic Alice Rawsthorn and MoMA curator Paola Antonelli co-founded a research platform dedicated to solving today’s most pressing global issues. With help from their extended network of innovators, they set out to imagine a post-pandemic world defined by positive social and ecological change. Design Emergency presents their accumulated wisdom, collecting interviews with industry luminaries like Forensic Architecture’s Eyal Weizman and highlighting inspiring ideas that offer hope in trying times. Take, for instance, the Great Green Wall of Africa, which is reversing drought and famine with an 8,000-kilometre stretch of new vegetation. High-impact art direction by London’s Studio Frith helps to drive the book’s big ideas home.
Three books explore design solutions for a more sustainable future.