People, Planet, Design: A Practical Guide to Realizing Architecture’s Potential
If you were asked to close your eyes and envision where you are happiest, would you picture somewhere inside a building? North Americans are inside buildings for more than 90% of the day. Meanwhile, the indoors are stifling us, sometimes even killing us. Buildings, and the materials that make them up, expose us to materials linked to negative health impacts. The construction and operation of buildings is responsible for 40% of climate-changing carbon emissions.
In the US, the design choices made by the typical architecture firm employee each year can reduce emissions by about 300 times that of an average American. But the promise of sustainable architecture will not be realized if sustainability remains a secondary consideration for architects. What if great design were defined by its ability to cool the planet, heal communities, enhance ecological functioning, and advance justice?
In People, Planet, Design, architect Corey Squire builds the case, provides the data, and lays out the practical tools for a transformative human-centered architecture. This approach integrates beauty and delight with an awareness of how every design choice impacts the community, the planet, and the people who will use the building. Outcome-focused with a deep dive into practical design strategies, the book showcases ten building systems that embody design excellence.
Squire centers the idea that by focusing on the desired outcomes—that buildings shelter us from the elements without disconnecting us from the world, that buildings provide the quality of air, light, and views we now know to be essential to health, productivity, and joy—we can move beyond the checklist mentality that has captured much of the design community.
Essential reading for architects who want to transform what the profession means, People, Planet, Design pioneers a new vision and sets readers up with clear guidance on implementing it. Only when design prioritizes people, as it should, can architecture realize its full potential.
Praise for People, Planet, Design: A Practical Guide to Realizing Architecture’s Potential
"Thank you Corey Squire for creating this comprehensive guidebook outlining the great opportunity and responsibility architects have in creating climate solutions, high-performance buildings, and communities that are healthy, resilient, and equitable. This book should be required reading for all architecture professionals, students, teachers, allied professionals, and concerned citizens. By integrating the outlined resources and strategies into practice our profession will significantly contribute to a carbon- positive world."
— Marsha Maytum and Bill Leddy, Founding Principals, Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects
"With the climate crisis now in full swing, all architecture firms are seeking to prioritize high-performance outcomes in their designs. But how? This book is your one-stop-shop for guidance on the firm culture, collaborative process, and design guidelines that will get them there."
— Nadav Malin, President, BuildingGreen, Inc.
“An eloquent and compelling exploration of the power of design and changes in the design process that are needed to meet global and local challenges—from climate to culture to community. Setting high performance goals for the built environment has never been more important for decarbonization, equity, biophilia, health, and the resiliency of people and planet.”
— Vivian Loftness, Paul Mellon Chair in Architecture, Co-Director, Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics, Carnegie Mellon University
"Powerful, persuasive, and full of insight, Corey Squire cuts through information overload and reminds us of the role and impact of architecture in society and the promise it holds. A delight to read, this book shows us that design excellence is measured by relevance to the issues of our time."
— Kristof Irwin, Principal at Positive Energy and Host of The Building Science Podcast