Ever-changing graffiti at the Leak Street arches at Waterloo reflects the culture of constant regeneration and renewal that underpins Tara Gbolade’s approach to practice.

On a personal level, in our projects, and as a practice, I am currently preoccupied with the idea of going beyond sustainability (doing less harm), and towards regenerative design (making a positive contribution). This new season of regrowth brings the opportunity to restore, renew, and revitalise the impact to people and the planet.

On a personal note, while I’ve always sought to bring positive change, the last year has been hard, and protection from the harsh realities of living in an unequal society became a primary focus. This new season of regeneration brought an opportunity to relook at our lives and ensure our practice was reflective of the world we wanted to see.

This review translated into our practice branding; which went through a renewing process over the last few months as we looked for a typeface that better reflected our West African heritage; tying more strongly our history to what we hope will be an impactful legacy as time moves us on.

Our practice is predicated on the knowledge that when we bring our authentic selves to work, we can design authentic places, which in turn allows the communities we design for, to live authentic and regenerative lives.

This thinking is translating to our projects; exploring regenerative innovation ideas like bricks made from 90% recycled material while using only a tenth of the carbon emissions in production; to moss-covered green walls that filter polluted air from busy roads thereby improving the quality of life for people, and the planet in which we live.

I am photographed (wonderfully by Tim Soar) in the Leake Street Arches in Waterloo. The graffiti tunnel is in the constant process of regeneration and renewal as artists (new and old) create new art reflective of life (personal and societal). This collective and continual regeneration taken as a whole, is something beautiful to behold. And my hope is that our collective and continual regeneration of society will be, in the centuries to come, something beautiful to behold.

Tara Gbolade
Waterloo, London