Everything we learn builds upon itself. We dig into the performance of our landscapes and evaluate them post-occupancy with a wide range of criteria. Every project advances our knowledge and helps us improve our next project. OJB Lab, founded in 2015 as a distinct research arm of the practice, grew out of a desire to analyze our work more fully and move beyond the established sustainability certification systems. We developed a list of metrics including infrastructure, environmental, social, cultural factors. We continue to analyze every project through these metrics and build on our knowledge and performance in successive projects. Measuring and documenting completed projects on how they have performed against their design intent has given us important benchmarks, as well as new design standards and improved targets. These findings and improvements are continually shaping and inspiring us to deliver responsive design.
OJB has developed a long-term partnership with the McHarg Center at the University of Pennsylvania to explore how landscape design can produce more efficient and human-centered solutions to the complex ecology of sites. The team has undertaken specific research problems in conjunction with the landscape design studios at Penn and these findings inform our future design strategies and best practices.
Landscape architecture is a highly collaborative endeavor, and the challenges that face our built environment will require new partnerships and cross-inquiry to create responsive and sustainable solutions. Current research includes in-depth study on the effects of parks and open space adjacent to highways, with the aim of improving our urban environment, as well as the use of color and landscape in behavioral health environments with the goal of improving patient outcomes.