This week in class we learned about biophillic design. Biophelia is the love of life or the subconscious connections we seek with our environment. In our reading we read about how greenery subconsciously made the shoppers feel more at peace and less rushed. The shoppers experienced a much more positive and less stressful experience when there was greenery in the store. I can definitely agree with this concept. I would feel a lot more calm and at ease in a store with greenery than say a Forever 21 with bright fluorescent lights, clothes everywhere, and loud music blasting over the speakers. I would be more likely to stay in the store longer than I would at Forever 21 where I try to get in and out as fast as possible. In lecture we discussed the 14 patterns of biophillic design, my favorite of which were the presence of water and dynamic and diffuse light. Both of these are part of nature in the space, kind of like the article about the presence of greenery in retail, these are both biophillic design patterns implemented to enhance a space. Water, like greenery also brings a calm, soothing experience to enhance the space. Dynamic and diffuse light is all about utilizing light to create conditions that occur in nature. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I am a huge fan of utilizing natural light. I believe that light can really transform a room and set the mood. It is so interesting how nature can effect our emotions and well being as a whole both psychologically and physiologically. Another thing that I found interesting this week was the TED Talk with Elora Hardy. She talked about building a 6-story high bamboo house in the tropics. This design was truly inspirational and amazing. The building had curved roofs to catch the breeze, 1450 species of bamboo, and the tensile strength of steel. She discussed how fast bamboo grew and how they could have sustainable timber in just three years. People are usually afraid to build with bamboo out of fear that it will get destroyed or eaten to dust by insects, but they have found that by safely treating the bamboo using borax they can make it last a lifetime. This video made me want to pack up my things and move to the tropics to live in the bamboo house, it was truly amazing.
This week we also had a guest speaker, Rita Hershey, and got to go on another little field trip. Rita talked to us about sustainability on campus. She discussed how we need to be good stewards of our resources. Her tenets of sustainability were that all things on earth are connected, live off of nature’s income, not its capital, and there is no waste in nature (the cradle to cradle concept). I learned from her that OSU’s energy management policy has saved nearly $45 million system wide by simply focusing on behavioral changes. I had no idea that those energy saver emails we all got every semester were making that huge of a difference. After she spoke, we went to visit the OSU recycling center. Chad Tucker talked to us about how the recycling department was created in 2013 and consists of 4 employees and 2 student workers. It started as just a building full of mounds of cardboard to where you could barely even get in. Now the establishment recycles about 80,000 pounds a month, sending about 32 bales a time with their vendor. Although it has advanced, they could still benefit greatly from more technology such as conveyers and bailers. I had no idea how much work was behind the recycling process, it really made me stop and think about my recycling habits and what I can do to be better. I personally did not know that the reason we cannot recycle glass is because everything is sorted by hand. This visit made me realize just how much hard and labor intensive work goes into the recycling process here, I will try much harder to be careful and cautious of what I am throwing in my recycling bin after this experience.