Regenerative Design – Design for Wellbeing: Humanity, Sustainability, Technology
Design is creation; but now it becomes re-creation. Design for Wellbeing is design for health and happiness, and Regenerative Design is a crucial part of the same process; a renewal, a ‘re-think’, not only of our environment – both built and natural – but of our relationship with it. Our health is our planet’s.
There is no choice. We are forced to re-examine our priorities, rebuild our relationship with nature, renew our ideas of beauty and of the city, re-create the ways we live, work and play, and so arrive at renewed health for people, for society and for the Earth itself.
So regenerative design means redesigning design itself. Our homes, workplaces and public spaces must give us value, authenticity and belonging. The products that we create and use must express the permanence and nobility of craft and craftsmanship, while we discover new materials and technologies that assure our renewed connection to each other, to the community and to the natural world.
Specifically for Shenzhen, technology capital of China, if not the world, this brings the digital world into full focus. At the same time as we regenerate our natural environment, our buildings, our cities and our sense of ourselves, digital technology opens new horizons and proposes new ways of living. The challenge is to ensure that both this digital process and the natural one are aligned. The Metaverse is fast becoming an alternative way to understand our creative energy, but it is a mistake to think that it proposes a way to live on the earth.
The point where this pervasive energy meets our basic human motivation to create wellbeing, to regenerate and to live in harmony with nature rather than exploit it, is the new focus for design. Circularity in the economy is not enough; zero waste, net zero carbon and creative re-use must infuse our design thinking, the way we see the world. This is designing our Wellbeing.
Join us in Shenzhen in December to explore Regenerative Design, to design and build Wellbeing for ourselves, for society and for the planet.
Aidan Walker, Design Shanghai / Design Shenzhen Forum Programme Director