At the beginning of the semester, I think I probably defined sustainability as being eco-friendly or “going green.” Now, I am positive I could give a much better explanation. Being sustainable is about impacting the environment in a positive way whether it be in your personal life or your business life. At first, I thought sustainability was just about the small things you could do in your life to be more “green,” but now I realize that there are so many ways to impact yourself, your environment, the economy and others! Designing with the end in mind, if you will. There are also many different aspects of sustainability and sustainable design such as biomimicry, industrial ecology, biophilic design and its patterns, nature-centered designs, cradle-to-cradle, human need and empathic design.
One of the biggest things that stuck out to me over this semester was the concept of biophilic design. Learning about the fourteen biophilic patterns of design and all the different ways they could be implemented was so interesting to me. I guess this was an epiphany to me because I have seen a lot of these aspects of design in place but had never really realized the impact they have on us, or myself. I also never realized that nature could be not only incorporated in a space but incorporated in the nature of the space. Creating the ideas of prospect, refuge, risk/peril or mystery in a space can totally change the feeling you get when you come into a space. I’ve actually been able to notice these patterns of design in different stores, waiting areas, clinics, etc. that I have been in since learning this. I would love to own my own store one day, and as a future business owner I think it will be important to reflect on this concept and understand how to incorporate it into my store and business plan.
Something I would like to continue researching and learning more about is the idea of combining the biophilic patterns of design and empathic design. I loved watching the LOLA Show presentations about bringing nature into hospitals and cancer centers. The one I really can’t get out of my head is the presentation on Sky Factory, the company that puts skylights in MRI rooms to make the patients more comfortable. I think that is just so cool! I would love to see more innovative ways to incorporate biophilic design in spaces to help people.