Postponed: Second Nature: New Principles of Regenerative Design

Please note: This event has been postponed. Please check back for a rescheduled date.

All artificial design has in some way been shaped by the habitats, and ecosystems we live within.

The entire world, even global economy, is predicated on evolved habits, shapes and systems, which pre-date our arrival on the planet.

So how have we utilised our understanding of these natural solutions for our own inventions? It appears we have done so, quite rightly, for our own gain, and there was nothing wrong with that until we realized the ecosystems we thought we had understood are in serious jeopardy.

Today we face an existential crisis of high importance. Almost all of the design solutions we have from nature are too simple or unsymbiotic, and therefore we are reducing the immense diversity of earth down to a few common denominators, and this is leading to instability. This talk will offer some ideas towards our next endeavour of coexisting and collaborating more closely with our natural world. Let’s reimagine nature filled cities, work alongside and restore existing natural ecosystems as both an aesthetic and a cleanser, and begin to design for as much of life as we can, not just our own, because it appears that nature may have the solutions we need for our next chapter on earth.

Date & Time

Thursday 23rd April, 6:30pm


Donald Insall Associates
12 Devonshire Street

Speaker’s bio

Toby Diggens is a landscape architect and marine biologist: He grew up in Norfolk, where an affinity with the windswept coastline and ever changing tidal landscape fostered a passion for the natural world. He studied marine biology at Newcastle before moving to America to pursue his other passion, watersports. After helping his employer, make the transition to a formidable online retailer, he was recruited by the telephone answering company Moneypenny to start-up their American operation.  From here (Charleston, South Carolina) he watched the wildlife he had only recently marveled at in books, become faceless housing developments. With the view that there must be a better way, he left Moneypenny and used his winnings to fund a Masters in Landscape Architecture. His idea for design is that Art and Science, when combined, can be both beautiful and functional, and that the millions of years of evolution conducted outside the sphere of people has to be one of the best sourcebooks we have for living a more harmonious existence with our fellow species. Perhaps, even helping in addressing both the climate crisis and the ensuing upheaval of our natural world. His is currently working on the possible first Living Building Challenge renovation in the country.