Sustainability becomes the (beautiful) new normal
In modernist architectural theory, form follows function. This means that the intended purpose of a structure or space should determine what it ultimately looks like. As we and our savvy clients have always known, sustainability is beautiful. If a project is intended to preserve the natural resources of the environment, then shouldn’t it follow that natural resources should take center stage?
The American Society of Landscape Architects recently revealed the findings of a survey of its members to identify the projected top ten trends in residential landscape design. We were struck by how each one of the project types in the list either address a specific area of conservation, capitalize on natural resources, employ natural materials or are intended to improve residents’ experience of and appreciation for the outdoors.
The ASLA survey predicts that in 2016, the following project types would be most in demand:
- Rainwater/graywater harvesting – 88%
- Native plants – 86%
- Native/adapted drought tolerant plants – 85%
- Low-maintenance landscapes – 85%
- Permeable paving – 77%
- Fire pits/fireplaces – 75%
- Food/vegetable gardens (including orchards, vineyards, etc.) – 75%
- Rain gardens – 73%
- Drip/water-efficient irrigation – 72%
- Reduced lawn area – 72%
These are some beautiful results! Clients who hire landscape architects are typically ahead of the curve when it comes to integrating “green” elements into a design. We’re pleased to know that the trends strongly suggest greater interest in form following sustainable function.