Designing for human needs is a crucial part of interior design that some designers tend to overlook. It is the simple things in life that humans not want, but need in order to have a happy life. If you watch HGTV shows, you see these amazing houses that these home-improvers, carpenters, and designers are beautiful in every single way; however, these places do not always feel welcoming and comforting. Fortunately, for the owners of these locations are always happy because they still have a kitchen, bedroom, fireplace, living room, etc. to shelter them and protect them from everything. Not everyone in this world is that fortunate. Could you imagine what it would be like to live in a place full of strangers each on your own cot for one night not guaranteed room for the next? Unfortunately, there are people who are not as fortunate as yourself and mine to enjoy the comfort of warm fire keeping your toes from freezing while sipping hot chocolate watching the Christmas tree sparkle from its glimmering lights and shining ornaments. The feelings behind this situation boil and overflow within me because I cannot stand to think of someone not having the opportunity to live the life as I have. I am so thankful for what all I have been given, and that is why I have promised to myself one day, as I retire or grow as a designer, to design for the homeless and those in need. It is amazing what a simple action does that makes someone so happy in a day, in an instant. This type of empathic design has touched my heart and truly can make a difference in design by fulfilling all human needs and inspiring others to lend a helping hand when they can.
This past week, I took my carbon footprint to see how it might have changed and what habits I am gaining that could be changed. Using the website changinghabbits.co.uk given to us in class, I have a carbon footprint of 6.2 tonnes and should be running one at 2 tonnes. This means I have a long ways to go in changing bad habits into sustainable ones, but really it put into reality the means of luxury I have right at my fingertips that I hardly recognize. There are basic household items that I use so much of when others simply do not have that to use as their own: a washing machine for clean clothes, lights to turn on in the dark, running water for a warm shower every day. These things are purely materialistic, but are things that we take for granted when it comes to our health and living. After researching human needs, I came to learn more about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This is simply shown in a diagram in a pyramid form showing the most basic fundamental needs lower at the bottom and other self-achieving needs at the top. This study showed that most people will drop and forget the higher needs in order to fulfill the lower needs which are a basis in order to achieve the higher needs. Gregory Kloehn is an artist and tiny home builder who takes recycled and reclaimed materials turning them into small, mobile homes for the homeless. It hardly costs him anything to take materials he finds thrown out my construction companies, home builders and corporations to make these tiny homes. He even finds a way to use doors off of old washing machines as windows on lots of the homes, and even the door of a mini fridge was used as a real door for the home. These tiny pieces of artwork not only are amazing and impact so many lives, but also give homeless a sense of security, safety, and shelter that we all long to have. It is a place to keep their things, stay warm in the winter from the harsh winds and precipitation and a place to sleep at night. Gregory Kloehn is an amazing man who has such a big heart to make homes for those in search of one. Some say home is where the heart is, and Kloehn truly put his full heart into these homes. I hope one day that I can start a corporation for something like this as well or can carry on his pride, hopes, and dreams of helping those in need.