the laurentia project


Laurentia brings together creative minds in food, design, art, science, writing, and policy, focused on dialogue that needs to happen now.  To simultaneously talk and make; on critical topics toward actionable progress. Laurentia is workshopping re-made.


Design Conversations, Shared Meals, Intentional Space

Old problems need new thinking space. We believe that the environment in which you co-design affects the kind of thinking that you can do. As advocates of spaces with air and light and beauty we need to be solving our biggest design problems in these same contexts.

We do this by bringing together creative minds in food, design, art, science, writing, and policy, focused on dialogue that needs to happen now.  To simultaneously talk and make; on critical topics toward actionable progress. Laurentia is workshopping re-made. Be a part of our story.


JENNIFER PRESTON, Design Architect

Jennifer is Design Architect for The Laurentia Project where she supports the collaboration of creative thinkers through concept design, topic generation, menu development, equitable facilitation and post-event mappings resulting in emergent action.  

In addition to forming Laurentia, she is Partner at SHELTER Stories, a sustainable architectural design practice. Her design process weaves building science and energy simulations with material craft and spatial beauty. Her work is driven by an open-minded rigor, and a respect for nature; the result is lasting sanctuary.

Prior the founding Laurentia and SHELTER, Jennifer was Senior Associate and Sustainable Design Director at BKSK Architects in New York City. While there, she fostered multiple award-winning projects, garnering BKSK a coveted spot on the Architect 50 top sustainability firms in the country.  As a Community Coordinator working with Greylock Works in North Adams, MA., she combines design with public engagement to co-build a lasting food-based economy for Berkshire residents.  Jennifer served on the Steering Committee for the AIANY Committee on the Environment (COTE), and she co-founded the NYC+NJ Living Future Collaborative, a local chapter of the International Living Future Institute, where she facilitated a thoughtful, slow and productive group of cooperative agitators.

TRISTAN ROBERTS, Cognitive Scientist

Tristan guides facilitation for The Laurentia Project. With a degree in cognitive science and subsequent work in behavior design and facilitation, Tristan loves breaking human experience down to essential components and reshaping it into nourishing and transformational experiences. He's particularly obsessed with supporting professionals in doing their best work so that teams can thrive environmentally, socially, and economically.

The longtime executive editor of BuildingGreen's highly trusted BuildingGreen and LEEDuser web tools, Tristan's guidance is a daily salve for frustrated professionals. He is often called to speak on choosing green building materials, avoiding greenwash, and navigating green building programs like LEED and the Living Building Challenge. He has recently spoken at events including Living Future, Greenbuild, and the Living Product Expo. He operates a small farm in Vermont where the focus is on slow, contemplative experience of place.



JAMES WILSON, Building Science + Design Philosophy

James is a design researcher based in Brooklyn. As Associate Editor at BuildingGreen, Inc., he works to produce useful and compelling resources for those seeking to transform the design and construction of the built environment. He is currently investigating how the development of different design cultures and communities of design practice might advance the incorporation of sustainability and wellness into the craft and discipline of architecture.

Independently, James's current research interests are focused on ethnographic and embodied forms of design research and education. He has recently been engaged in a research project concerned with how cultural values and practices shape our socio-spatial experiences and relationships. His research is guided by the question: Can design engender new cultural values and practices to foster stewardship, wellness, and community? How might architecture encourage and grant agency, empowering the inhabitant to find ways of "dwelling poetically?"

He is an active member of the NY/NJ Living Building Challenge Collaborative and serves on the Steering Committee for AIA COTE.

ERIN CARRAHER, Architect, Educator

Erin is an architect and educator based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her work builds communities by engaging students, practitioners, and other partners in collaborative projects related to issues of gender and social equity, creative placemaking, and sustainable practices. 

In addition to her work as an assistant professor at the University of Utah's School of Architecture where she teaches design studios and communications courses, Erin researches collaboration and leadership in integrated project delivery and emerging modes of practice. She co-chaired the 2013 AIA Center for Integrated Practice conference on this topic and is the co-author of Leading Collaborative Architectural Practice (Wiley 2017). She has received several awards for teaching and creative work, including the ACSA New Faculty Teaching Award, Collaborative Practice Award, and Diversity Achievement Award; AIA Utah and AIA National Young Architect Awards; and design awards from AIA Utah, Design Arts Utah, WoodWorks, and Architizer.