We strive to develop healthy relationships between the natural and built environments, where individuals and communities thrive through a sense of personal and public wellbeing.

Cross Sector Collaboration:
Learning from Emergencies

Our Place: Culture, People, Ecology

In her essay, ‘Run Rewild’, Anna Souter discusses a prevalence in our language and behaviour where, ‘We place the human on top of or outside nature - never within it’, as if humans were in themselves not natural or part of a physical ecosystem.

In part this is an issue of language, but it is also an issue of attitude and practice over time, and one that has contributed significantly to the degradation of our landscapes, waterways, flora and fauna, food sources, air quality and changes in climate.

 Instead, one should think of connectedness and the relationships which describe our place and time in the world.  As expressed recently in the context of te ao Māori, or Māori world view, we discover our wellbeing at the meeting point of taiao/ecosystem, whenua/land and tangata/people, overlaid with the context of time. Over time we express ourselves through our stories and whakapapa/genealogy and these find their way into design and our cultural expression – these are universal values.

Reinforced by our recent work with Rotorua-based consultancy Tutira Mai, Chow:Hill is committed to embracing this view and through our work the collective kaitiakitanga /guardianship of our planet. In our recently adopted environmental policy we’ve set out our responsibilities, aims and intended activities in meeting this challenge, where we commit to a holistic view of people and planet, and with reference to the bicultural perspective inherent inTe Tiriti of Waitangi.

We are interested in working alongside our clients and communities in the evolution of sustainable and resilient environments through design and advocacy. With a collaborative, holistic systems approach and in a synthesis of cultural, human, ecological values, we desire to derive greater purpose from our work and contribute to regenerating and securing the future of our ecosystems.

Credit: ‘Run Rewild’, authored by Anna Souter, published in the Architectural Review 1467 Dec 2019/Jan 2020