Regenerative Design as a Bridge between Sustainability and Resilience

The Rockefeller Foundation states: “We live in a world of increasing dynamism and volatility, where technology and greater interconnectedness have accelerated change and altered the way people live. Resilience is the capacity of individuals, communities and systems to survive, adapt, and grow in the face of stress and shocks, and even transform when conditions require it. Building resilience is about making people, communities and systems better prepared to withstand catastrophic events—both natural and man-made—and able to bounce back more quickly and emerge stronger from these shocks and stresses.”

The building community is trying to reconcile the progress made in creating sustainable design over the last twenty years with the new goal of “resilience.” There is a danger that as strategies are developed for resilience, the design community will forget about sustainability. In addition, there is the potential that some strategies developed for “high-performance” and sustainability in the current paradigm may decrease the resilience. It is important to find a pathway forward that creates both “resilience” and “sustainability.” Emerging focus on regenerative design presents the potential to create resilience and sustainability in the built environment.


  • Explore the connections between regenerative design and resilience
  • Develop regenerative design strategies
  • Review the implications of future climate models on energy design in the built environment
  • Analyze the role of different building types in a community resilience strategy

Richard Graves, AIA, Director and Associate Professor, Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR), University of Minnesota, College of Design Richard is the Director of the Center for Sustainable Building Research and an associate professor in the College of Design at the University of Minnesota.  From 2012 to 2014, he was the Executive Director of the International Living Future Institute, leading the operations and strategic efforts around all of the Institute’s signature programs. His research focuses on regenerative design as a fundamentally new approach that must be required of architecture across scales (from the building to the neighborhood to the city) to achieve sustainable and resilient urban development in a dynamic world.

Submitted for approval of 1 AIA LU

Event postponed until 2021.


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