If you watch a mainstream television show about design, the whole process seems to take half an hour. Having all this information at our fingertips is exciting, but it’s not always accurate. People might be missing out on what good architecture has the power to do — it is much more than four walls and a ceiling. We, as architects, can communicate through the built world that the needs of people and the needs of the environment go hand in hand. Holistic architecture restores the environment and human health.
I look at how the land is graded, the location of the trees, streams, brooks, or perhaps if it’s a more urban environment, where the infrastructure is built up. The design needs to speak to the needs of the occupant as well, so we investigate the purpose of the space and present a variety of solutions to make it a reality. If we don’t take all of these steps with intention, the environment suffers and we suffer as well.
Too often, we see trees chopped down for no reason, streams or brooks contaminated, or too much storm water runoff. When developers bring in unnecessary infrastructure, it can have a detrimental effect on the environment, which in turn can diminish the occupant’s enjoyment of the space — and if their needs are not met, then the building is just a box taking up space. Poorly planned neighborhoods are often the ones where exact replicas are built, one after another, on sites that are deemed undesirable. Many of these houses, like some that we see in the South Bronx and Detroit, fall apart. Morale falls by the wayside, people’s spirits are low, and it no longer feels like a good place to live. Bad design can cause chaos.
In contrast, holistic architecture uplifts the environment and the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the occupants. Planning a neighborhood mindfully inspires the community to come together, too. People take more pride in the neighborhood and want to protect it because the architectural design creates value on so many levels.
Read more about holistic architecture and Feng Shui at https://redwoodsdsa.com/holistic-architecture-restores-the-environment-and-human-health/