Can we build healing and harmonising homes? #47 #cong23 #reality


Embarking on the quest to construct homes that blend with nature and enhance well-being, this research explores the intersections of natural world, neuroscience, and integral sustainable design. From mimicking nature’s harmony to understanding the neural responses to design elements, the journey looks to being pull together patterns that can be used for creating nurturing environments. Integral sustainable design emerges as the guiding principle, emphasizing a holistic approach that considers ecological, social, and economic aspects. Can we set the foundations for healing and harmoinsing homes for the generations that follow?

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Nature as a Blueprint: Drawing inspiration from nature’s wisdom, emerges as a fundamental principle in sustainable design.
  2. Mind-Body Design Harmony: Recognising the impact of design on mental health and well-being. The impacts of design go beyond the physical space into subtle realm.
  3. Holistic Sustainability: Integral sustainable design provides a comprehensive framework, considering environmental, social, and economic dimensions. Balancing ecological sustainability with social and economic viability is crucial in creating homes that positively impact individuals and communities.
  4. Leveraging a cross-disciplinary approach in design amalgamates diverse expertise for comprehensive problem-solving. Coupled with community involvement, it offers an inclusive and informed approach to community development.

About Aimee Hartshorn

Aimee is the Founder and Creative Director of Anima Lunar Collective, an interior design practice. Growing up on a farm in Ireland, Aimee was blessed to be surrounded by the beautiful natural landscape from a young age. Born into a family of builders and makers, she was immersed in an environment that nurtured her personal passion for design and craftsmanship. Aimee’s enthusiasm for creating beauty in the world truly blossomed as she entered the world of design in her late teens, following her curiosity and passion. Her work has taken her around the world, where she has visited design exhibitions, specialist suppliers, and artisans.

Always curious, Aimee continues to explore the world, gaining invaluable knowledge about materials, cultures, crafts, and community living. As she has grown, so has her interest in understanding the world. She deeply cares about how design can positively nurture growth and development for our evolutionary path. Aimee had the unique experience of being part of ‘Generating Transformative Change,’ a course that brings together thought leaders looking to make a positive impact in the world.

Contacting Aimee Hartshorn:

You can check out Aimee’s work on her website, connect with her on Instagram or send her an email.

By Aimee Hartshorn

Creating healing and harmonising homes represents a multifaceted challenge that requires an interdisciplinary approach, drawing insights from biomicry, neuroscience, and integral sustainable design. This research delves into the exploration of whether it is feasible to construct living spaces that contribute positively to occupants’ well-being, emphasizing the interplay between design, nature, and human physiology.

Biomicry, as a guiding principle, suggests that we can find sustainable solutions and design inspiration in nature’s intricate systems. By mimicking the inherent harmony found in ecosystems, the goal is to create homes that seamlessly integrate with the natural world. This approach emphasizes sustainability and ecological balance, recognizing the potential of nature-inspired design to positively impact human health.

Neuroscience, on the other hand, provides valuable insights into how the human brain responds to the built environment. It acknowledges the profound connection between our surroundings and mental well-being. By understanding the neural responses to various design elements, we can tailor residential spaces to promote a sense of calm, reduce stress, and enhance overall mental health. Elements such as natural light, greenery, and ergonomic design are explored to create environments that resonate positively with occupants.

Integral sustainable design serves as the overarching framework, weaving together various dimensions of sustainability – environmental, social, and economic. It acknowledges that a truly harmonising home should not only be ecologically sustainable but also socially and economically viable. This holistic approach considers the long-term impact of design decisions on both individuals and communities, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all aspects of sustainability.

The exploration of these concepts has led to a series of interviews with experts in diverse fields, including architecture, interior design, and neuroscience. Through these conversations, the researcher seeks to understand the practical implications and challenges associated with implementing healing and harmonising design principles in residential projects.

Experts unanimously acknowledge the significance of nature in sustainable design, emphasizing the need to learn more from nature’s resilience and efficiency. Integrating natural elements, Biophilla and using sustainable materials, emerges as a promising avenue for creating homes that align with the principles of the natural world.

From a neuroscientific perspective, experts highlight the importance of sensory experiences in design. Natural light, ventilation, and views of greenery are identified as key contributors to occupant well-being. The interviews underscore the idea that a harmonising home should engage all the senses, creating a nurturing environment that promotes both physical and mental health.

Integral sustainable design principles means, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive and balanced approach. The experts stress that sustainable homes should not only minimize environmental impact but also contribute positively to the community, fostering social well-being and economic resilience.

However, challenges emerge, particularly in the realm of interdisciplinary collaboration and implementation. Experts discuss the inherent silos within different disciplines and industries, making it challenging to bring diverse professionals together for holistic projects. Overcoming this requires a shift in mindset and the development of collaborative frameworks that encourage the exchange of ideas and expertise.

Cost considerations also loom large, with experts acknowledging that sustainable and harmonising design often comes at a higher initial expense. Innovative financing models and incentives are suggested as potential solutions to offset these costs and encourage broader adoption.

Regulatory and policy barriers pose additional challenges. Experts highlight the need for supportive regulations that incentivize sustainable practices and penalise unsustainable ones. Overcoming resistance to change within the industry is identified as a crucial aspect, requiring education and advocacy for the benefits of healing and harmonising design.

Looking ahead, the research aims to contribute to the growing body of knowledge in residential design. By examining the intersections of biomicry, neuroscience, and integral sustainable design, it seeks to provide insights into creating homes that not only minimize their ecological footprint but actively contribute to the well-being of those who inhabit them.

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