Sustainable green design has become commonplace in our culture. Many people outside of the design and construction industries understand and embrace these principles. During my architectural career, sustainability has always seemed the responsible practice, but it always left me with a sense of something missing.
Recently our design team had the fortunate opportunity to work with Dr. Stephen Kellert on a senior living project. Dr. Kellert is the Tweedy Ordway Professor of Social Ecology at Yale University and has authored many books on Biophilia and the impact on lifestyles when nature is engaged. During Dr. Kellert’s introduction, he discussed that good design should also take into consideration the environment’s impact on us.
Ta-da, this seemingly intuitive concept closed the circle for me. Purposeful design should not only lessen our impact on nature but also embrace nature’s impact on us. The environment we live in daily is both interior and exterior, and good design should create as much transparency as possible between them.
Biophilic design principles incorporated into our buildings and environments provide a quality of life for all users of the space. Since our founding, Arkos Design has developed projects with a sincere appreciation for the benefits of architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture working in harmony. The talent we have put in place provides a natural collaborative team for an effective application of biophilic design.
There is already considerable research regarding benefits of the environment and nature on us humans, and this blog is not intended to revisit that. Rather I want to challenge you in your daily life to stop and take note when you experience comfort and good feeling. Think of what you like to do and where that activity is most rewarding. What are some of the common features about the places that you find enjoyable and relaxing?
Personally; I enjoy golfing, camping, hiking, etc. -- common theme: all are outdoor activities that are engaging with the natural environment. In our home my favorite place is our "Thirsty Perch" back patio. For much of the year, when weather permits, I spend more time on the perch than indoors. Fresh air, fire pit, wood, and brick, materials and the setting sun view are all things I find incredibly relaxing and thought provoking. I am excited to continue on this path and look for constant improvements to our projects connecting nature with our lives.