Tenet #8 – Redefining the Game

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete” — Buckminster Fuller

Success is measured by many things, but what we have learned over the years is that failure has been the ultimate key to unlocking our potential. When you stay bold and unafraid in your experimentation, you grow through trial, error, and, eventually, success. When you invite failure and welcome mistakes, made within the actions of building something new, breakthroughs will reveal themselves. So, we continue to question everything and repeatedly ask ourselves…Why doesn’t this work? How can we view this from a different perspective? How can we go further next time? 

At Studio Petrichor, Redefining the Game means rethinking the existing goals and ideals for landscapes and transforming them from what they are or were to what they could be. We like to call it Mindful Innovation. The standard metric of “what works” does not define our process moving forward. We are uninterested in comparison for the sake of competition as there is too much energy lost in the race to keep up or be “better.” We have found that leading with compassion, gratitude, and inclusion equals shared success with our collaborators — where new projects are born and new solutions arise.

We were recently approached by the City of Pasadena’s Department of Water and Power to demonstrate onsite waste transformation while simultaneously reimagining water conservation. Based on our previous work, the department knew they would be getting something different than they’d gotten before, but what they weren’t expecting was a game changer. We were excited to work with the local community and demonstrate simple techniques used to transform discarded plant materials, such as trees, leaves, and other common green waste (normally sent to landfills) into beautiful, resilient, and biodiverse gardens. Including the local community in this process allows people to have a stake in this work because communities are the catalysts that can pass on what they have learned. Supporting the community above ground while teaching them to support the community below ground can become a truly regenerative cycle where all life benefits.

The demonstration started with our composting-in-place practice, also known as Hugelkultur, but Shawn was determined to broaden the possibilities….”Hugelkultur is great, effective, fun, and NEW to so many, which makes it popular, AND we must be looking at the whole system potential of the landscape.”

With PWP’s approval, we were given the go-ahead to reimagine a one-acre median and the surrounding sidewalk landscapes. We jumped at the opportunity to build and nurture living soil and integrate rainfall to support indigenous plantings. Those things together support habitat and biodiversity in a place where it is not normally considered. We want to reimagine sponge-like, resilient cities that function as living systems. 

As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “History has proven that the impractical idealists of yesterday become the practical realists of today.” So we forge ahead with fearless experimentation that may lead to real change in the way we interact with nature. The game of life is meant to be lived out LOUD while sharing together the feelings of joy, compassion, integrity, mindfulness, and so much more. We want everyone we affect to share those feelings in relation to the land as well. Our clients and collaborators invest in supporting naturally occurring cycles that proliferate all life, human and nonhuman, with a whole-systems approach, for them, their communities, and Mother Earth. They also happen to receive beautiful gardens that remind them of their impact on a daily basis.

Wanna join us in Redefining the Game? Send us an inquiry at info@studio-petrichor.com

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