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  • Writer's pictureRogerHines

Can Homes Heal?

Could a small change in your home, make a huge impact on your health?

For my final year dissertation, I wrote a paper on the effects of Biophilic design on the wellbeing of our lives and the potential to heal us from ailments.

The idea that it is possible through small changes to create homes that could heal or prevent ailments is proven through biophilic design. Biophilia, the human's desire for connection with living things, can improve humans' physical and mental wellbeing.

The initial study I carried out investigated the effects of implementing a small element of Biophilia within a home working environment during the Covid 19 pandemic.

The study introduced a plant to the participant's workspace and measured its impact on their mental health and wellbeing. The study concluded with evidence showing that a positive effect was observed through the introduction of a plant.

I have included the full paper below if you want to read through it!!

AO3996 - Special Studies - R-Hines - 06-05-2021
Download PDF • 832KB

So... why do so many people wish to live in a house like this, a secluded log cabin in the woods away from the distractions of everyday life!

Well, part of the answer is humans desire to be connected to nature, to be part of nature and to lose all inhibitions and feel free and unjudged; this is Biophilia!

Why this post? Why this topic? Why this thing called Biophilia?

Well, it's really simple for me. For me it's at the route of everything I do, I strive to provide a solution to people's problems, and I want to help give people the best lives possible, and for me, Biophilic design is a way of doing that.

Although I promote and recommend this as a core design strategy, people are still stuck in a world where they want as much as they can get for little as they can pay. Unfortunately, they neglect to see the true cost they are actually paying, the cost to their physical, and mental health. They are missing out on that all-important connection to nature that we all strive for.

Although we can't all have the log cabin in the woods, we can have elements within our homes/offices/workspaces that allow us to reap the same benefits!

I urge you all to include some elements of Biophilic design within any architectural design projects you are involved in.

Luckily for me, offering architectural services within the gorgeous landscape of Clitheroe within the Ribble Valley, we have that connection often on the other side of a window; we just have to strive for good design that allows that connection to happen. But, what if you don't have that view, that vista, or live within a built-up area? I am pleased to inform you that you still have indirect options, the use of natural materials within the home, and air diffusers that emit cedar oils into the air to help reduce stress and inflammation! A garden that isn't plastic grass and homes insects, bugs, and various plants.

So.. what can I do today to make some changes??

Small changes can start to make an impact on your life today!!

This can be as simple as adding a plant to your desk as proved in the dissertation above.

Adding natural materials within your everyday environment.

Repositioning your desk/workstation to allow you views of nature

Make views of the outdoor space a priority within your home.

Develop your garden to be wildlife friendly, this could be as big as your whole garden or as small as a window box!!

For me, if you're thinking of remodelling or adapting your home, building a new house or converting an existing building, I urge you to use Biophilic Design as a guiding concept for your Architectural Design project!!

I was connecting the dots!

Me, as a Chartered Architectural Technologist and Landscape Designer, I feel it is my duty to help guide my clients to form a connection between the built environment and nature.

It's the whole reason I did all of what I've done, and as Steve Jobs said so well "Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future." S. Jobs.

For me connecting the dots was easy, a builder that wanted to make a change, trained as a Landscape Designer, opened a Landscape & Garden Design Practice and wanted to make more changes as I witnessed homes that had a TOTAL disconnect from their gardens and the surrounding environment, so I went back to Uni to train as an Architectural Technologist which made sense. I wanted to learn the science of buildings and how to design buildings that performed as well as looking amazing along with the ability to introduce all of the elements that I have seen missing throughout my years within the industry; I was connecting the dots!

And today I now have my own practice that does all that and more...

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