What does it mean to live sustainably? How do we, as a collective, an architecture firm, a small business, and as individual members inhabiting this "Spaceship Earth," as Buckminster Fuller famously says, lead a life that protects, conserves, and appreciates the natural world around us?
Before we label ourselves as a designers, builders, and architects, we remind ourselves we are first and foremost stewards of our larger home; our pale blue dot. Our passion to cherish our only home serves as our grounding pillar in all of our endeavors; this massive floating body of rock is what grounds us — both literally, thanks to gravity, and figuratively. From architecture and interior design, to the products we design and the artisans we choose to work with, we focus on the art of living well; mindfully considering not the immediate now, but thinking about how a single choice today will manifest in the future.
We put forward ways to invite the natural elements in through the many considerations in our design, fostering a deep connection to the natural rhythms of our Earth. We build and curate; thus laying down the foundations to put aside maximalist tendencies and the ingrained habits of overconsumption instilled into our daily lives. We turn to a slower pace of life that brings out the beauty in the passing moments. This lifestyle puts the environment first.
One: we pay attention to our materials. We look to organic materials to bring the natural elements into the spaces we design and build. Using natural stones from our longstanding partner, Polycor, ensures longevity (due to the infinite capacity for stone to be recycled, reused, and repurposed long after any project). For our wood, we use Dinesen. With their deep rooted reverence for the trees and the forest since 1898, sustainable forestry stands as the backbone of their company. Polycor, Dinesen, and Studio Zung all share a respect for the abundant resources provided by Mother Nature.
Two: we lead a life focused on mindful acquisitions. Packed to its rims, filled way beyond its capacity, our world today is bursting at its seams, inundated with a tsunami of man-made goods ready to be discarded as pleased. We challenge this throw-away mentality; we advocate for investing in the few, and trust in quality rather than quantity. Whether that be homes, furnitures, or place settings; we hope to create and curate things that will last the test of time, and be passed on to the next generation.
Three: we design for a connection to nature. To better learn how to cherish the world we live in, we need to spend more time walking the earth, experiencing the elements, and living with the natural cycles of the seasons. Once our appreciation for the abundance we have received is realized, it can begin to blossom into the small and large decisions we make in our daily lives. In one of our residential projects, Maison Duane, we redesigned the entryway with slatted white oak allowing the warm afternoon sun to trickle in. A subtle detail, like such, brings to life the natural wonders we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate everyday.
Our Ateliers are built with this same mindframe, putting an emphasis on strengthening the relationship we have to the natural luxuries offered in the Hamptons. We are constantly inspired by the nature around us; there is nothing like the spirit of the ocean. We created our surf collection, with one-of-a-kind, handcrafted surfboards, inspired by this spirit. Riding a wave and being physically so in tune with the push and pulls of the water, we have such a passion for a bodily connection to our Earth.
Our close knit team of architects, craftsmen, designers, marketers, and thinkers have created a small community of those who share these values we use to navigate the journey of mindful living. This Earth Month, we reflect and check our relationship with our "Spaceship Earth", ultimately reminding ourselves why we exist as a design studio, an architecture firm, and as inhabitants of this wonderful shared home. We go forward not in fear, but with abundance and love, not in single strides but collectively as a whole.