Living City Design Competition Entry, "Patch \ Work Philadelphia" by Team OLIN
Testing our vision and removing barriers to change
At the International Living Future Institute, we believe that a compelling vision for the future is a fundamental requirement for reconciling humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Rather than advocating for incremental improvements to the built environment and the industries that interact with it, we define the desired outcome for the movement we serve: the cultivation of restorative ecosystems in which thriving communities benefit the biosphere as a whole.
Of course, it takes a lot of heavy lifting to move from big-picture ideas to grounded practice. Project teams are in the field every day demonstrating that we can indeed thrive in partnership with the resources that sustain us, but we know that financial and regulatory barriers that make things harder than they need to be. So we work hard to help identify and remove barriers to change. We partner with governments and regulatory bodies to support and incentivize emerging best practices. We perform critical research on policy issues including new approaches to water treatment. We explore structural biases in our current financial systems that make unsustainable practice seem like smart business decisions. We partner with local governments to guide the transition to 21st century infrastructure.
We also host competitions that allow people across the globe to play with our ideas and test them on clearly defined projects. The competitions have proven to be an invaluable means of engaging with some of the world's most creative designers. Whether the goal is to show how the Living Building Challenge might work on a city scale, to design a house capable of thriving in one of the world's most remote locations, or to design a breakthrough product for the building materials manufacturing sector, each of our competitions brings us a few steps closer to a Living Future.