Charrettes and Regeneration

The notion of "governance by charrette" is very suitable for design science approaches to creating regenerative systems.

Regenerative systems are generally small, bio-mimicing social-ecology (SEC: man in nature) systems. They are bio-mimicing in that the energy and material loops are short, producing resilience within the system and making best use of outside, particularly energy inputs, from the systems it is nested within. In agriculture, for instance, food is locally grown, delivered only short distances, and the waste is returned to the soil in short order. Building can be done locally, using local resources, and local (perhaps Ancestoral) knowledge. There is no sense squandering energy resources to bring glass and steel to a region where compacted earth and thatch has served for millenia. At the "end of life" of a structure, the materials are more easily returned to the commons from which they came. As much as possible, manufacturing can be done locally. using local resources and labor. This would allow the formation of worker collaboratives rather than capital driven businesses, which tend to be more responsive to local conditions, and the needs of all, including the local ecology, in which the manufacturing sector is embedded. These small scale efforts are easily observed by a charrette of local citizens.

This brings us to the systems design aspects. The systems in which we operate are extremely complex. They are unpredictable and unknowable in their entirety, so the safe way to make changes to them is in very small, iterative ways. Make a change, see what happens. If it works, without causing damage elsewhere, do the same again. If a change creates a new problem, undo the change and try something else. This approach is ideally suited to the creative power of a charrette.