Sunday, March 8, 2009

Creatures in the Architecture

Sometimes, when I'm at a market or airport, I look around and remember that we are mammals inhabiting an elaborate nest of our own making. If we saw sea otters at the deli counter ordering lunch, or fruit bats passing through security at the United Terminal, we would think we were in a Disney animation. But, humans emerged from the same primordial soup as dolphins, hawks, lizards, tigers and elephants. 

Perceiving myself as an animal living within architecture, I sense the sparks ignited by biology colliding with mental abstractions. This intersection of nature and mind, body and conscious is the creative womb-space where architecture is born. Just as bird perception determines the way birds make nests and ant perception shapes anthills, human conscious determines the way humans inhabit forests, grasslands and deserts. Since our cultural viewpoint puts the mind in conflict with the body, it's no wonder that we've created buildings and cities that clash with nature. In the last 100 years, buildings have reduced the body's importance and favored mental abstractions.

Want would happen if we created homes and neighborhoods more for our animal selves and less for our clever minds. Imagine redesigning the room your in so it focused less on visual/mental aesthetics and more on touch, sound, and smell. Would the material of your chairs have a softer, rougher texture or a harder, smoother one? When you walked across your living, would you like to hear beneath your feet the crisp crunch of gravel or the spongy hush of moss? How would your bedroom change if it were designed around fragrance of lavender or the sound of rain on the roof? What color would your stomach paint your dinning room? How would your arms and legs redesign your shower? Getting out of that brain space between our ears and designing from our bellies opens an entirely different ways of shaping nature into architecture, and crafting buildings into nature. This way, we might begin yo get beyond the idea of green and learn to touch, smell, taste and hear green.   

No comments:

Post a Comment