Designing resilient coastlines requires new approaches that work with natural forces and not against them. And bring together a wide range of people to inform direction.
We approach design as a process of inquiry. That means we lean into questions at hand, whether they are related to science, politics, or engineering, to avoid easy answers or conventional methods and uncover possibilities in the process that breed favorable outcomes for ecology, community, and economy.
We communicate using visual means to bring a wide range of stakeholders to the table. Physical models are highly useful tools for understanding and communicating sedimentary processes. Seeing a tangible representation is an equalizer for people from various backgrounds and expertise. The stakes are easier to rally around when you can see the model in front of you. Paired with computational analysis and field observation, this complementary approach gives us deeper insight into what’s possible for coastline management and ensures that concepts and processes are understood by the larger community of stakeholders.
By incorporating landscape-based inquiry, environmental modeling, and research together into a larger process of design, we can bridge the divides between disciplines, values, and operative scales, and describe or show what is possible within a set of constraints. This method of working is the foundation of the collaboration with scientists, port operators, state and federal agencies, and local Great Lakes communities. We want to spark informed discussion among constituents focused on research, technical outcomes, and community values that are sensitive to scale and ecological, infrastructural, and community concerns.