Our design approach

Our design approach is distinctly interdisciplinary: We combine deep anthropological knowledge and rigorous biological research with award-winning design expertise and high artistic ambitions.

Our design process is a continuing exploration of science and art; of research and creativity; of functional problem-solving and the livable and enjoyable everyday life. A complementary approach that drives everything we do.

The results are poetic and sensuous projects that solve today’s biggest urban challenges, create genuine life quality for all, and put all things living – people, cities, animals, and plants – first.

People, nature, and design

Our design process is founded on the combination of biology, anthropology, and design: It is in the deep interconnectedness between people, nature, and design that our projects come into being.

Our design process is iterative, including, and interdisciplinary. Together we explore, question, prototype, imagine, re-imagine, and join our creative forces to create human-centered and nature-based design solutions.

Our professions and backgrounds may vary, but our shared goal is always the same: To design the best possible places for life. All life.

Our design approach We explore the biological and ecological foundation of all our projects.
Our design approach Early sketches and collages set the narrative and the aesthetic direction for our projects.
Our design approach 1:1 testing of falling water's ability to mitigate sound pollution.
Our design approach Biological research, social use, and nature-based design solutions are tightly interconnected in our design process.

City Nature™

The fundamental concept of our design approach is City Nature™.

City Nature is man-made nature that solves man-made problems and makes our cities and societies more livable, sustainable, and meaningful. City Nature learns from the processes and phenomena of nature. It creates habitats for animals and plants and preserves and strengthens our cities’ ecology and biodiversity. City nature utilizes nature’s ecosystem services to make our cities more sustainable and our lives in them better.

Our City Nature consists of four performative values – all equally fundamental in designing the best possible places for life. These four values are:

Biological value

City Nature’s biological value is securing space in our cities and communities for all life – plants, animals, and humans. This is essential because strong biodiversity makes our lives richer, our cities more resilient, and our communities healthier. And because preserving and strengthening our planet’s biodiversity simply is the right (indeed only) thing to do.

We only have Earth and its resources on loan, and we must deliver it back in better condition than when we lent them. A City Nature that ensures biological diversity is therefore imperative.

Social value

City Nature’s social value is all the good effects we know that nature has for humans. We become healthier, happier, and have less stress if we live close to nature. And we become more social, more active, and experience less crime in nature-based urban spaces.

The social and human potentials of nature are well-documented and have the advantage of working on everyone, regardless of gender and social or cultural background. Our City Nature creates better social conditions for all – both at individual and societal levels.

Utility value

City Nature’s utility value centers on the many ecosystem services that a well-designed City Nature provides to make our cities and communities sustainable. From stormwater management and storm surge protection to air pollution cleansing, urban heat island mitigation, and microclimate optimization.

Thus, City Nature is not about whether our cities become “more beautiful” to look at. Instead, it is about creating a new balance between the built and the grown environment and thus making our cities more sustainable, resilient and livable in the future.

Aesthetic value

City Nature’s aesthetic values take seriously the fact that we humans are part of nature – yes, that we are nature. City Nature reminds us of this precisely by giving us deep sensory, physical, and psychological experiences that make us feel one with nature. This sense of togetherness does not only provides us with existential satisfaction. We also understand and recognize our place on our planet – as well as our responsibility for it.

City Nature makes life meaningful for the individual; reminds us of our shared responsibility; and gives us the power and determination to act.

We use nature strategically

We are highly specialized in using nature and landscape design strategi­cally. Not as nice-to-have beautification. But as a fundamental element in securing a healthy and profitable business case for our clients.

Our designs have a proven track record of providing lower establishing costs, healthier and happier employees, higher property value, a more innovative, productive, and creative workforce, increased footfall and revenue for retail, stronger branding value, future-ready climate adaptation, and lower maintenance and operating costs.

All the while creating resilient, social, and beautiful places for all.

Sønder Boulevard A 15 million DKK road transformation from asphalt to green spine - resulting in a 365 million DKK increase in property value.
Novo Nordisk Nature Park In Novo Nordisk Nature Park, the 35,000 m2 campus park functions as a social, recreational, and inspirational outdoor innovation lab for all employees.
The City Dune - SEB Bank With the City Dune public space, the Swedish investment bank SEB has measured a positive branding value five times higher than the construction costs.

We believe in the power of process

We believe in the power of an innovative, collaborative, and inclusive design process.

As our client, we bring you along on our design journey and invite you to join our mission, challenge our thinking, and expand our horizons. Together we learn, together we grow, and together we create the best possible projects.

Naturkraft PROTOTYPING allows us to explore materials, handcraft. processes, and the forces of nature. Only through constant 1:1 experiments can we design truly new solutions.
Novo Nordisk Nature Park In our MODEL WORKSHOP we test, try, and challenge the physical limitations of our sites and our projects.
The Chalk Garden - Danish National Broadcasting Company Using only LOCAL RESOURCES allows us to radically reduce the carbon footprint of our projects while providing our designs with a strong sense of place.
Naturkraft We carefully design the GEODIVERSITY of our projects, knowing that soil and ground surfaces quite literally are the fundament for resilient nature-based solutions.

Perspectives

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The six most important things to know about butterfly habitats

The butterflies are in decline worldwide. In Denmark alone, every fourth butterfly is endangered. This is a result of the lack of habitats and pronounced use of pesticides and fertilizers following the intense agricultural use in the open landscape. However, cities have great potential to become oases of biodiversity, as it is easier to assign space and create suitable habitats for biodiversity in urban environments. This article introduces the six most important landscape and design parameters that must be considered if the butterfly is to be attracted as a permanent resident or frequent visitor.

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City nature is not nature

“City nature is not nature. City nature is something we humans design to solve the urban problems we have created ourselves. City Nature is about correcting 1,000 years of urban delusions that have separated the built and the grown (…)” says design director and partner, Stig L. Andersson, in this debate post, where he commends the government’s proposal to demand more and better city nature.

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Back when Earth turned green

Mosses were some of the first living things to make the Earth green more than 400 million years ago. In Denmark, there are about 650 species of moss, and the stories they tell are worth listening to.

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Green Solution House We constantly strive for maximum CIRCULARITY in our projects, working on upcycling and recycling as much material as possible, creating sustainable, economic, and meaningful places.
Al Fay Park In our TREE SELECTION we work meticulously to ensure that each tree has optimal living conditions, full utility value, and the strongest possible aesthetic feeling of nature.
Yellow Mud Garten We combine traditional HANDICRAFT with modern nature-based design principles, simultaneously drawing on thousands of years of cultural history while solving today's most fundamental challenges.
Ankarpark We use the PROCESSES OF NATURE to design shapes, forms, functions, and aesthetic experiences that add new layers of livability, sustainability, and meaning to our cities and our lives.

Fundamentals

Come explore the fundamentals of our office together with us

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Sakuteiki
– The Book of Garden

Sakuteki – The Book of Garden is a manual, a textbook for Japanese gardeners in the 11th century. This introduction sounds like this: “In making the garden, you should first understand the overall principles. According…

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Mist

Mist is a phenomenon caused by small droplets of water suspended in air. Physically, it is an example of a dispersion. It is most commonly seen where warm, moist air meets sudden cooling, such as…

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Sound

“Sound. The soundtrack of our lives often passes us by without us noticing. But I have begun noticing the poetry of the noises around me. The rhythm and the song of the poet. The calling…

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Essay: The Bark Room

“Bark is both living and dead, growing and cracking, a shell, a protective layer and an integral part of the wood’s tissue. It’s the bark structure and the way it peels, which separates the different…

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Atmosphere

“Atmosphere is a thin film of enclosure around our world. Without our vaporous, water filled atmosphere, life on Earth – or indeed life anywhere – would not exist. But atmosphere is also what you sense…

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White

“In the beginning was chaos. While the universe began to expand after Big Bang it also decreased in temperature. It became more and more ordered. With that order, the Universe changed its background colour toward…

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Roots

“A tree consists of three parts: Its foliage, its trunk, and its roots. All three parts are important for the aesthetic feeling of nature. But of these three I find the roots most intriguing, most…

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