What Inspires Us
Below is a library of resources and ideas found by us or shared with us by our friends and client network. It’s a collection of articles, radio stories, infographics and videos that relate to our work and broaden our thinking: our favorite content from the internet and beyond. Original commentary gives insight into our process and poses questions about the world inside and outside of the studio.
Christianstead: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
Understanding what makes plants happy
The value of nature
or "Natural Capital"
The island of St. Croix took two direct hits in the Fall of 2017 from hurricanes Irma and Maria. Amie took part in a 5-day intensive Advisory Panel with the Urban Land Institute in Christiansted, St. Croix to address questions about the islands economic development, mobility, affordable housing and placemaking. The Panel's recommendations identify many small to large scale steps that could be implemented across St. Croix and throughout the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Read the report here.
Thomas Rainer’s work is a revelation: It turns out that plants are social, and have a body language that explains what they need.
We are inspired by Nature’s Fortune: How Business and Society Thrive by Investing in Nature. Tercek writes that saving special place by special place as the sole conservation strategy will not be enough anymore. We need to look holistically at land stewardship and maintaining resource health across jurisdictions, on both public and private lands. “The breakthrough insight is when companies recognize that the services they rely on from nature but heretofore took for granted and got for free, such as clean water and flood protection, will be neither guaranteed nor free in the coming years.”
We are inspired by Sadik-Khan’s approach to recapture our urban streets. Instead of relying on traffic “models” that are rarely tested against reality, she went ahead and made changes with temporary materials that could be reversed if the benefits failed to materialize. “You can have fun with paint” she says to test innovative approaches to take advantage of “an asset that is largely hidden in plain sight”.
Every once in awhile we make sure to watch or read the commencement speech by the late David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005. Writing with his one-of-a-kind blend of causal humor, exacting intellect, and practical philosophy, David Foster Wallace probes the challenges of daily living and offers advice that renews us with every reading. The entire speech is published in a short book called This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life.
We continue to be stirred by Seth Godin’s blog which is based on the notion of “Make Something Happen.” His book, What to do when it’s your turn, is a book about helping people “do work that matters.” We particularly like his piece titled “Toward Civilization.” We should never forget to speak up, care a little more and "say, 'wait,' when they cross the line, when they pursue profit at the cost of community, when they throw out the rules in search of a brawl instead” because “…the race to the bottom and the urge to win at all costs aren't new, but they're not part of who we are and ought to be.”
incentives to push water into California's Aquifers
The Haimish Line
A shifting approach to saving endangered species
This pilot project in the Pajaro Valley where they are paying farmers for groundwater recharge inspires us. Just as households with solar panels get credit for selling power back to the grid, landowners can offset their water bills by pushing water underground. With winter rains filling California’s reservoirs, the rush to capture some of that bounty before it gets to the sea is ON. “You can’t buy any more land and put more infiltration basins in,” Helen Dahlke, a hydrologist at UC Davis says, “the agricultural landscape is really the natural place to do this.”
We love this editorial on the “haimish line” that David Brooks explored in 2011. At Cultivate, the importance of creating warm, inviting, convivial environments is our ultimate goal. Brooks discusses his experiences and observations regarding which side of the line he has ended up on, and why that is important to consider when you spend your money.
Efforts to preserve the sage grouse reflect a trend of competing interests uniting in this article from the New York Times. We agree that it is important to talk about conserving nature at several levels. This discussion doesn’t necessarily have to be an “either/or” choice between conservation and development but an “and/both” solution as this article explores.
101 The Embarcadero, Suite 212 | San Francisco, CA 94105 | 415.590.2020 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Cultivate was founded to help change the way people think about improving and managing land. We are a California State Certified Small Business (SB) as well as a Certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).