Three Keys to Abundant Design

A bit about abundance

If we want to realize abundance, we can’t get there by conservation and reducing harm alone. To do so, we need to work from an entirely different paradigm — one that seeks to realize the potential of humans for becoming contributive and beneficial members of social and ecological communities.

Key 1: Working on abundance across scales

We all strive to create value in our professional practice for our clients, our firms, and the communities in which we work and live. But how do we deepen that contribution to create authentic abundance across scales?

Key 2: Working with potential, not solving problems

Design thinking asks us to spend considerable time identifying problems to ultimately shape the design solution. The trouble with this approach, ironically, is that it’s focused solely on problems! Unfortunately, conventional design thinking doesn’t focus on potential.

Key 3: Reciprocity

The third key to designing for abundance is reciprocity: elevating mutually-beneficial, co-evolving relationships.

Designing from a new mind

Much of the sustainability and green building movements for the past 20+ years have focused on conservation of resources, reducing pollution, and minimizing waste — important work indeed. But efforts to conserve can only do so much on the path toward abundance. When we understand how to work from and with potential, and develop lasting relationships based on reciprocity across scales, then we are designing for abundance. Aiming for abundant design requires seeing and working in new ways that are largely unfamiliar and challenging — but oh so worth it!

Interested in learning more?

Check out the new publication by CLEAR (Center for Living Environments and Regeneration) and the Institute for the Built Environment titled Becoming a Regenerative Practitioner: A Field Guide. CLEAR also has several free resources on the LENSES Framework and a number of programs and educational offerings focused on regenerative development and design.



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Josie Plaut

Josie Plaut

Regenerative development; facilitation; founding developer of the LENSES Framework