Humanity is at a crossroads: we must reform our ways, or we will completely degrade the systems which support us. We architects have the tools to achieve this transformation. We bring mythology, technology, law, and art together to make environments that bring us health and joy.
Our implicit goal is that everything we do, everything we make, contributes to the world around us. This goal inspires our studies of permaculture and our efforts to design light fixtures and furniture. Good buildings start with good gardens. Buildings need not sit ignorantly of the land, but may animate outdoor spaces.
If we are to build a human society that works to cultivate good, rather than extract value, we must follow the same practices as the natural environment. This means favoring local materials over foreign, minimal solutions over expensive, natural materials over high-energy products, diverse elements over uniform. It means understanding our role as designers—and inhabitants—of spaces embedded within the process that constructs our world.
Good buildings start with good gardens. Sustainability begins with taking care of the land: minimum site disturbance, limiting building footprints, maintaining or re-establishing ground cover and native vegetation, dry gardening, water conservation, use of existing trees for shading; these are the basics. But beauty is just as important! We don't just look at the interior spaces of our buildings, but also use them to frame outdoor space.
Where the land is healthy, we will try to protect or enhance its beauty, where it is degraded we try to regenerate it. We love plants and let them teach us to be less compulsive in our work and lives.
Simplicity is the common factor of all good design. In simplicity, elegance appears. Simple forms let materials express themselves, and simple materials express form clearly. Simplicity leads to quality. Especially in architecture, inherently complex, voluntary complexity opens the door for mistakes and breakdowns.
When designing buildings, we often find it difficult to find simple and well-designed light fixtures at an affordable price, so we began to experiment with our own industrial designs. We use stainless steel sheet metal, welded steel structures, and plexiglass to create kitchen exhaust hoods and light fixtures. Our simple means of manufacture lead to a simple product.