Design and architecture have always been a mirror of current social trends, setting the direction for the society to follow, or accurately depicting the attitudes of humans of a certain era. Currently, we live in a time of awakening; a new social, economic and political canvas is being painted, and rising environmental consciousness is one of the main pillars of this global movement.
Sustainability has become one of the crucial aspects of contemporary architecture, as our awareness of these issues is on the highest level since the Industrial Revolution. But how about our inner “sustainability”? Is personal wellbeing being pushed aside, as priority was given to global prosperity?
Recently, an immense introspection occurred on the foundations of the worldwide environmental revival, setting up a trail for a holistic approach to physical, mental and emotional health. And it is reflecting on other spheres of our lives, including our habitat. We now pay more attention to our living and working spaces, especially that since the late 1800s, we spend almost 90% of our time indoors, and are just beginning to understand the negative effects of this relatively new lifestyle.
There are a couple of things to consider when designing a healthy living space. Firstly, it’s vital not to surrender yourself to its function, not to change your routine to comply with a certain house layout. Try to reorganize it instead, change the flow of the house by rearranging the furniture layout, and, if possible, even change the purpose of some of the rooms - all in order to optimize the space to serve your needs.
The visual aspect is important too, but not just is the sense of matching curtains with carpets. It’s important to fill your space with furniture that satisfies your own piece of mind, even if it doesn’t comply with so-called design standards. Achieving emotional equilibrium is what holistic approach is about, and that’s something that is not easily quantifiable. That’s why it’s important to listen to your “inner designer” when creating your ideal living space, and not to be afraid to experiment. Design of living space is not finite, it should change and grow with the person who occupies it, and gradually, by improving our own living room, we can ultimately change the world.
Milos Gavrilovic, the author of this architecture column, is a Phuket based architect and interior designer. Contact him at email@example.com or through his LinkedIn profile linkedin.com/in/gavra