According to Bruce Mau, a Canadian-born designer and author, we live in an era of opportunities for redesign, massive change and profound societal transformation. As a co-founder of the Massive Change Network, Mau investigates how design impacts quality of life, known as design economies, and how to accelerate sustainable change. Mau’s method of embracing challenges and moving forward toward designing solutions has led to successful redesigns worldwide, including the new biodiversity museum in Panama. Two principles that guide Mau in redesigning spaces are “we are not separate from or above nature” and “begin with fact-based optimism.” To Mau, nature, culture and business are enveloped by design. Therefore, it’s our responsibility to redesign with nature in mind and aim to support and sustain ecological systems. The second principle prompts designers to use optimism to find opportunities for problem-solving and collaboration. As Mau said at The World Around Summit in 2020, “pessimism is easy, optimism is hard… design is optimism in action.” Although we currently face many wicked problems including biodiversity loss and the climate crisis, there are also opportunities to reframe our perspective, explore new possibilities and redesign for regenerative sustainability.
Green buildings in Barcelona. Photo by Radu Bercan from Canva.