Resilio Studio is a social enterprise. We are an issues-driven and solutions-focused design practice that embodies the positive, transformative change needed to thrive in the face of the immense challenges of the 21st century. We believe there is an urgency to this project and the time to start is now.
The Power of Design
At its core, design is concerned with solving practical problems by providing function and utility; giving form and meaning to actions, objects, environments and the conversations that produce them; and providing a vision and direction for where we might like to head. We hold that design has the power to transform and bring about positive change, that everyone is capable of design and that almost everything can be designed. We believe our role as designers is to use our passion and skills to feed and support individual and collective initiatives to bring about the transformational changes necessary to build a resilient culture and bioregion.
Doing less harm is no longer good enough, we must do ‘good’ and leave things better. At Resilio we understand that we have a lot of ground to make up. As well as doing things smarter from here on in, we must actively rehabilitate the historic damage already inflicted on the planet and our communities by increasing the ecological carrying capacity of the environment and building real wealth – natural, cultural, social, built, knowledge as well as financial.
Design is Changing
The design profession emerged out of the industrial revolution. From this context, the design profession has established a widely understood approach to design that responds to clearly defined parameters in terms of brief, budget, programme and outcome. The world has changed and a new design practice is emerging. Contemporary design needs to respond to more complex contexts and projects and requires new delivery models, new drivers and a recognition of new business arrangements. In response to this emerging context Resilio is intentionally lean – we are a small and dynamic practice with flexible and adaptive working systems and low overheads.
It has been our experience that clients for systemic change are rare, and that in many cases we will need to take it upon ourselves to create the opportunities for the changes we seek. Resilio is entrepreneurial and committed to participating in and leading transformational shifts in cultural and societal attitudes and behaviours. We understand that systemic change doesn’t simply happen by itself, it requires intent, vision, dedication and hard work.
Bioregional and Place Based Design
We believe that the ecological health and carrying capacity of the places we live are the foundation of health and well-being for the people who inhabit them. We are dedicated to designing for and with the local – we place the health of the land and the people who live there at the centre of our design process. Resilio’s small scale, our connections with other social organisations and our growing understanding of the Auckland bioregion deeply roots us in place, and provides the platform for formulating contextual, place-based solutions.
Te Ao Māori
At Resilio we are committed to building relationships and knowledge around design practices which actively acknowledge and integrate Te Ao Māori. We are interested in design practices which integrate local matauranga Māori and honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and we believe designers have a responsibility to the social and cultural contexts in which we work. As designers who work with mana whenua in Tāmaki Makaurau, Te Aranga Design Principles are one of the primary tools used to ensure that culturally responsive design processes and responses are embedded into projects, as and where appropriate.
Design has the potential to help change the world for the better, but to do so it must itself change and become a widespread activity that everyone is involved in. In a networked world, all design processes are co-design processes and co-design is the only way of making sure that the proposed solutions will be socially and culturally acceptable and continually implemented. At Resilio we see ourselves as social actors who can foster collaboration among diverse disciplines and constituencies and feed and support projects and initiatives in which everyone – design professionals and non-design experts alike – are involved throughout the process and have ownership of the solution.
We don’t have all the answers, we don’t believe anyone does. What Resilio does have is an interest and willingness to try new things – to look at problems with new eyes – to experiment, prototype and test solutions, many many times. We value a ‘fail quickly and learn from our mistakes’ approach to complex challenges. We strive to explore different ways of seeing, solving problems and recognize that radical innovations to pressing questions often generate new and different questions that require further exploration; and that this continued process of enquiry and action is an essential quality of innovative and effective problem solving.
Small, Slow and Simple is Beautiful
We believe that the immense challenges we face this century are not going to be solved through large scale, top-down plans, but through a vast and diverse collective of many small solutions. They will be simple to apply and maintain, they will be labour and knowledge intensive rather than energy, resource and money intensive, and they will use local materials, create local employment and support local markets. Small, slow and simple recognizes that the efficacy of systemic change is best leveraged from the ‘bottom up’. Rather than increasing influence by making something bigger or more complex, small, slow and simple solutions are easily replicable and scaled in the same way that cells in the evolutionary process of life scale up – through replication, bifurcation and diversification.
Resilio is a reflective practice. We understand that reflection, which involves a wide range of methods for recording and critically reflecting on events, experiences, perceptions and/or feelings, is an essential part of the creative and problem-solving process. Reflection is essential to effective learning, for connecting theory with practice, and for forming a platform for creating new knowledge, theories and methods of working.
The Next Economy
Resilio’s core philosophies and practices are shaped by our growing understanding of the world we live in – the challenges we are facing and the opportunities they present.
In 1972, The Limits to Growth study was commissioned by The Club of Rome and undertaken by a group of researchers based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The study was the first to utilise computers to model the converging interrelationship between population growth, resource depletion, food production, industrial output and pollution. Over the last 40 years, and despite multiple articles and reports dismissing its findings, The Limits to Growth ‘business as usual’ scenario has remained the most reliable explanation of the challenges we see today. This scenario suggests that industrial output and associated economic growth will peak sometime before 2020 shaping our emerging reality and inevitable transition into an age of limits and a post-growth economy.
Resilio Studio is consciously positioning itself to be effective in the next economy, and is excited about its role, together with many others, in shaping it.