Archive for September, 2012

NO MAN’S LAND:  What were they thinking?

It’s a common question when confronted with de-natured environments


During the ’50s and ’60s people were haunted by anxieties brought on by the Cold War, Sputnik, and a world that was becoming less and less predictable. When nature–which is naturally unpredictable–disappeared from built environments, such deprivation was generally regarded as an inevitable side-effect of “progress.”

Machines and technology (see the GM Tech Center) were seen as a means of making life more controllable, and therefore a way to reduce anxiety.

De-natured offices, classrooms, conference centres, shopping malls, public plazas and suburbs thus became the norm.

Today there is growing evidence and awareness that de-natured environments cause anxiety, while nature causes health. (see also: biophilia hypothesis and salutogenesis)

The current medical cost crisis has created an urgent need to accelerate the re-naturing of our environments. Sixty years of unhealthy design norms need to be remedied ASAP.

“We designed ourselves into this predicament and we can design ourselves out of it…” says Stephen Kellert in the video, “Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life.”

Well said.

By 1961, an occasional tree would escape the march of progress.

– Sharon VanderKaay

  • About The Nature of Innovation

    We see our collaboration with clients and colleagues as providing a living lab for enriching the creative process. Farrow’s built work has been internationally recognized for leadership in human-centric design. This is where we come to discuss our ideas as they hatch and our experiences as they happen.
  • Admin