VISION

Shift is a landscape architecture and urban design firm which views design as a change agent and generator of possibilities, not simply as a service. We see the opportunity presented by design of the environment mixed with the force of collaborative thinking as the way forward for our public spaces, recreational environments, human habitats and ecosystems. We believe more can be done within the constraints and possibilities of our contemporary world. This does not mean we work outside the sphere of pragmatics; in fact our greatest strength is our ability to balance creativity with the realistic issues of economy, politics and disparate desires.

Whether it is design of urban spaces, cities, parks, campuses or any other environment where humans and ecologies come together we work to integrate the components in a holistic, adaptive and creative manner.

We believe the only way to solve the problems of today is to work as a strong, unified team. Consultation with our clients, colleagues and allied professionals significantly adds to our ability to solve problems in innovative ways. In public projects we look to expand the dialogue between designers, politicians and the public in order to refine and expand the role of landscape, infrastructure and design within the civic realm.

Responsibility to society at large drives our belief in the necessity to be involved in research based initiatives such as design competitions, speculative projects and writing. These endeavors add to the discourse surrounding contemporary issues of environment, social equality and human impact on the planet.

A continued commitment to education both for ourselves and as teachers allows us to test ideas while expanding our research based approach to problem solving. This voracious appetite for new knowledge drives us daily to read, experiment and prototype.

It is our belief that a shift in thinking will lead to a shift in the way we inhabit and use our environments.


APPROACH

Shift provides thoughtful solutions for a wide variety of project types. Whether it is design of urban or rural places; objects or systems; we work to integrate the components in a holistic, adaptive and creative manner.

We take inspiration from the landscapes and contexts in which we work. Our design sensibilities are firmly rooted in the understanding that the act of design and construction are cultural ones and should reflect the intervention of man. We develop strong forms that integrate the highest level of ecological resiliency, without being limited to a preconceived result. We approach construction as a continuation of the design process and work with contractors and artists to achieve finely crafted sites. Decisions of materiality, detail and technique are studied at length allowing the act of construction to liberate ideas and make them real.

Our process is an exploratory one. We are at one time intensely analytical and intuitive, rational and bold, pragmatic and progressive. Through the testing of various ideas related to our client’s aspirations, we develop an ideal fit of program, site and vision that manifests into a cultural intervention of designed landscape.