Blog 5

The reading about designing with biophilic inspired ideas was especially eye opening as it described how the brain/mind actually works when thinking to come up with ideas. Essentially, the brain is always in survival mode and the ideas that are created by the brain lean most prominently toward designs that encompass the idea of future reproduction. Another segment of this article that I enjoyed reading was the part that talked about health impacts of designing in correlation with nature. For instance, it was found that having different aspects of nature within the home and outside of the home that you can see (through many windows) actually increases positive moods and decreases stress levels.

The Ted talk about bamboo was probably the most interesting one we have watched yet. She stressed how important it is to use the resources around you and how with a little thought and imagination, you can make something incredible, while also being sustainable in the process. I would have never thought about actually creating miniature models of the house design and then measuring each individual stick in the model to create the life-size version. The video on edible spots I had actually seen before, but watching it again and writing about it makes me think more about how there are many things that we could create that are maybe not necessarily edible, but that serve an end purpose aside from the original purpose.

Biophilia was defined in multiple ways, but the way I see it, it is really a mix of everyone’s interpretations. It has to do with the focus of life processes, survival, and even the instinctive bond we as humans have with nature. Reflecting on three different patterns of biophilic design, the first one I wanted to point out was the use of water. I have always thought water served as a calming and relaxing design component, and you can see that in some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs. You just feel a sense of refreshment. A second pattern I am actually seeing more and more is material connection with nature. Everywhere you look, you are seeing nature becoming the go-to design trend. Raw wood, and honestly just sort of a raw look overall is very popular, but also green. The minimal processing that these different materials go through are very minimal and give off a calming effect. The third pattern of biophilic design I wanted to discuss was the idea of providing refuge. This type of design gives the person using the space a sense of security and a place where they can get away for a little bit. Who would want to come home from a long day of work and have all of these non-comforting stimuli coming at them. The stimuli that biophilic design gives off are meant to keep a person from the stress that comes from the other side of the door. Looking at the chart from the lecture on Tuesday, you can see that there are so many benefits to biophilic design. Lowered blood pressure, more attentive, better functioning circadian system, and improved concentration are just a few that derive from this type of design.

Looking back at our field trip on Thursday, we really learned a lot from the presenter, as well as the different plant employees. Our group was taught the sustainable actions that our campus has taken apart of, and how they are striving to make our campus a more sustainable college. One topic that we had all noted was that it was stated that sustainability doesn’t mean going green. We were really impressed by how much our campus has done to try and become a more sustainable college. One way they have taken part is by using wind turbines that create 70% of our energy here on campus. When touring the furniture recovery plant we found it very interesting on how they were able to take old pieces of broken furniture and refurbish it into something new. He also mentioned during the tour that it was more difficult to fix newer more modern furniture than it is to create something out of the older pieces. In the recycle plant we found it interesting how much pounds of recycled cardboard and paper that the facility compacts and sends out monthly. They use the green trashcans all over campus to help collect the recyclable material, and that each worker there hand sorts all of the pieces. Researching and finding more innovative ways to build while incorporating sustainable practices so we can reuse products in the future and create waste limitations.

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