Hideaki Ariizumi, A.I.A + Glynis Berry A.I.A., LEED AP are husband and wife partners with their firm studio a/b architects. They advocate design that considers both the physical and intangible aspects of sites to stimulate a range of experiences emphasizing a connection to nature. A graduate of the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Hideaki Ariizumi was a senior architect with Kazuo Shinohara Atelier in Japan. After moving to the U.S.A., Hideaki worked for Steven Holl Architects before starting his own firm. Amongst his current interests are how seaside communities will evolve in reaction to sea levels rising due to climate change. A graduate of Smith College and the Masters of Architecture program at Yale University, Glynis Berry worked in museums before joining the NYC Department of Transportation, where she started the City’s pedestrian and traffic calming program and supervised the bicycle program. More recently she has executed planning studies, served on the Suffolk County, NY planning commission, and in 2011 started the not-for-profit Peconic Green Growth, whose mission focuses on the integration of community and environment on eastern Long Island, where water issues are a challenge from numerous perspectives. The non-profit has been working on wastewater issues for the past six years, helping to shift policy and instigate action to protect aquifer and surface water quality. From generating hamlet-scaled maps of critical conditions to the design of pilot installations of alternative systems, Glynis has been active in all aspects of the work. Peconic Green Growth is now broadening its approach to embrace water conservation.
When it comes to water, we become impatient. We want water to be valued, protected, and restored without delay. While our love of water stems from its satiation of essential needs (drinking and bathing) and the emotional and interactive experiences it provides (listening to a stream, plunging into a wave), we realize that the degradation of its quality and overuse are threatening our societal sustainability and ecological health. Much of our work stems from learning about environmental conditions and the present political or regulatory climate. We illustrate the problem, identify the road blocks to action, evaluate potential solutions, identify next steps needed for implementation of solutions, and, when we can, just do it. We need to learn from those who have been successful as well as uncover unique local opportunities and solutions. We seek to identify ways to provoke change even when the impacts are not measured as viscerally by the public, but just as real. For instance, the need for water conservation is more obvious in the desert than a more verdant climate, even though both communities are contaminating and drawing down reserves below sustainable levels. We ensure social equity by understanding the impacts and true costs of actions and placements. Can the communications and installations become art? A lifetime’s exploration will tell.
Our time at SFAI was reinvigorating and inspiring. We explored and learned from diverse sources, from government to local mayordomos of acequias. The SFAI introductions to people in the community were invaluable, hopefully extending to collaborations in years to come. We studied regulations controlling water use, which has a litigious base, to the cooperative sharing of resources evident in acequias, which adapt to changing conditions and rely on local participation. Interaction with and learning about fellow residents and their projects was an important part of the experience, as we explored the issues of water in tandem. For us, the residency was the beginning of a new exploration.