Experience | Innovation | Design

Trusted Advisors

Design Ecology is a design and consulting organization that evolved in 2008 from the design/engineering/build firm Native Systems, founded in 2000. Over the past 20+ years, landscape architect and founder Josiah Cain has been a constant presence at the forefront of ecological design, green infrastructure, and high performance urban systems. As the sustainability, resilience, and regenerative design movements have gained broader adoption, the focus of Design Ecology has narrowed to offer the greatest opportunity for positive change at scale. Today we advise, consult, train, build and facilitate teams, provide frameworks and tools, and execute a limited number of aligned projects at the leading edge of regenerative design.

Our robust experience in formal design, engineering, planning, and construction is informed by broad expertise in ecology, urbanism, systems theory, infrastructure and academics. For over thirty years, our team has empowered clients to create and build extraordinary projects to achieve leadership goals and project excellence. Ask us how we can assist in meeting your ESG, SDG, LBC, LEED, Circular Economy, Biophilia, Biomimicry, Habitat, Equity, Carbon, Sustainability, Resilience, and Regenerative project goals.

As an employee and on behalf of Sherwood Design Engineers, Josiah was Principal in Charge for Net Positive Water systems at Google’s award winning Bay View Campus at Moffett Field in Mtn View, CA. On site wastewater reuse systems combine with rain catchment to provide a system capable of supplying all non-potable water and exporting to off-set potable water demands.

Nature Based Solutions

A regenerative built environment requires a robust and integrated living infrastructure to attenuate temperature and flooding while delivering public health, enhanced worker performance and an inspiring user experience. Our advanced suite of professional services caters to a diverse clientele, ranging from homeowners to campus and commercial developers.

Design Consultation & Team Facilitation

Technical Advisors

Land use, entitlements and the built environment: we advise on infrastructure, master planning, concept and schematic design, Owner Project Requirements, team building, goal setting, metrics, targets and KPI’s, MRV

Design Strategy

Innovative solutions for high performance ecological design: integrated green infrastructure, living roofs and walls, flood, graywater, stormwater management, urban heat, air and water quality, habitat, equity and social justice

Land Management

Holistic management, habitat restoration, regenerative agriculture and food systems, integrated watershed management, climate response, resilience, off-grid infrastructure for private ranches, organic farms, hospitality/retreat and residential

Sustainability, Equity, Resilience, and Regeneration

Advisory Services

Assembling design teams, establishing goals, advancement of innovation and leadership, evaluation of risks, increasing user experience and worker productivity, map constraints and opportunities, provide client representation


ESG, Carbon, Materials, Biodiversity Targets and Credits, Circular Economy, Living Building Challenge, Biophilia, One Planet Living, emerging and bespoke frameworks and project delivery tools and metrics

Outreach / Communication

Establish an internal ecology for the design team, owners, and stakeholders; entitlements, goals communication, trust building, facilitation of synergistic internal and external relationships, culture, and ethos to ensure successful outcomes

As an employee and on behalf of Sherwood Design Engineers, Josiah was Principal for Net Zero Water Systems and Living Roof Technical Integration for a 4 acre living roof system at Microsoft’s award winning Silicon Valley campus.