Can Good Design Change the World?
So many people emerged from the pandemic looking for new ways to live and work, and becoming more aware of how our surroundings affect our overall happiness. Around the world, designers are rethinking our built spaces and bringing the outside in, in remarkable ways.
The Nature of Design sets out on a journey to discover some of the most spectacular designs in the world and proves how incorporating nature into great designs can impact our mental and physical well being in profound ways.
The Nature of Design is a 6 x 11:00 min digital docuseries exploring the fascinating world of biophilic designs- in other words, designs that connect people and architecture with nature and the wilderness. This series uncovers the world’s greatest sustainable designs in our schools, cities, workplaces, hospitals and homes.
Green roofs and plant walls are one thing, but what about waterfalls in airports? Or vertical forests in downtown high rises? Or even 3D printed homes made out of mud? Radical eco designs may seem futuristic, but examples now exist everywhere and we’re going to explore the best of them and then demonstrate how they can literally change how we feel.
We dive into this world through the narration of an optimistic, Greta Thunburg style, Gen Z host – Louisa Whitmore – someone well known in the design world, whose fresh perspective makes the subject matter much more accessible and compelling.
Using a stylized treatment, energetic music and creative animation, The Nature of Design is a co-viewing experience that sets out to explore and reveal the incredible healing powers of nature.
Rethinking your Surroundings
According to Journalist Richard Louv’s 2005 seminal book on the alienation of children from nature, “Last Child in The Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder” human beings have a physical need for regular contact with nature and will suffer significant emotional and physical symptoms if removed from nature for long periods of time. Louv’s work lead to an explosion of studies that examine the multiple positive impacts of human interaction with nature. According to Louv, “Now it’s approaching and about to pass 1,000 studies, and they point in one direction: Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive functioning.”
Having evolved in and with nature for tens of thousands of years, humans have an innate desire and need to be in nature. This is called the biophilia hypothesis. Basically, the aspects of nature that have contributed to our survival, such as diverse vegetation and the presence of running water, are hard wired into our brains as desirable. A 2019 study of 20,000 people led by led by Mathew White of the European Centre for Environment & Human Health at the University of Exeter found that spending as little as two hours of time safely in green spaces per week has a tremendous positive impact on us.
Why it Matters:
A mere two hours per week exposed to natural surroundings can help to:
Lower stress hormone levels,
- Reduce nervous arousal,
- Lower blood pressure,
- Boost immune system function,
- Increase self-esteem,
- Reduce anxiety,
- Improve moods,
- Reduce Attention Deficit Disorder,
- Reduce aggression and,
- Speed up healing.
While most people understand that being surrounded by your ‘natural habitat’ is pleasant, few people truly understand the physiological reasons why or how significant it is to our health and well being.