Design Policy & Research

Cullinan Studio calls for stronger link between architecture and nature

The architect’s ‘Make Room for Nature’ campaign seeks more collaboration between designers, others who share goal to of creating cleaner, and more biodiverse cities.

The architect’s ‘Make Room for Nature’ campaign seeks more collaboration between designers, others who share goal to of creating cleaner, and more biodiverse cities.  

Cullinan Studio believes that the UK’s 55 million urban dwellers are increasingly disconnected with nature and its benefits, which is why it has launched the Make Room for Nature campaign to encourage collaboration between designers, planners and academics. The aim is to rethink cities and restore the connection between people and the natural world.

The practice, founded in 1965 by architect Edward Cullinan who was an early advocate of sustainability, argues that the relationship with the natural world is becoming increasingly out of balance. This has had a negative impact on public health, human creativity and social equality.

“The best buildings have always responded to a holistic brief.”

Roddy Langmuir, Practice Leader

With the recent Covid-19 lockdown highlighting how valuable access to nature is for city-dwellers, Cullinan Studio, wants nature to be better integrated in people’s daily routines. It says that research demonstrates even a short exposure to nature can measurably improve wellbeing and reduce stress levels, with low-quality urban environments being linked to poverty, anxiety and depression.

Nature provides an opportunity to reimagine cities, reduce air pollution, increase biodiversity and tackle the climate emergency.

Cullinan Studio wants architects and designers to learn from the research of environmental psychology, neuroscience and other disciplines in order to implement the principles in design and planning. Using this empirical evidence, can help them to advocate nature-friendly design principles to clients, and demonstrate the social, economic and wellbeing benefits of considered design.

Roddy Langmuir, a Practice Leader said: “The best buildings have always responded to a holistic brief. There is a pressing need right now to develop new ways of making buildings elegantly, with wit and joy, through the lens of their connection to nature, better health and the imperative of a zero-carbon architecture. We are very keen to collaborate with all who share this goal”.

Cullinan Studio has been shortlisted for this year’s delayed RIBA Awards for two projects that put its Make Room for Nature ethos into practice.

Learn more about the campaign

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