Today Im preparing a short talk for the Homebuilding and Renovating Show in London on September 30 which will be about designing houses and extensions that can help to heal the natural world and also heal and enhance the built environment and importantly our well being.
Although there will be a good deal of design and architecture in the talk, one of the main take aways (I hope) will be that people think a bit more about the loss of biodiversity and architecture.
Its never easy speaking about all this at public events. Im never sure if Im at the right kind of venue or platform where everyone nowadays is so opinionated. Especially events like this where people want to build a family home - in particular the very obvious spiritual aspects when speakng about nature - as all of that and its definition is so very personal to people. So Im trying to sort of dance around it a bit - this love for nature that so many of us share.
So hopefully just trying to open peoples minds and hearts just a small bit to think about and value nature and the value of biodiversity in terms of designing and building architecture in the built environment.....
Why biodiversity? Its so important to understand that it is not only single species we are losing.Its the INTERACTIONS between species and the environment (that still to this day are not even fully understood).
Biodiversity is the total sum of all life on Earth and its interactions. The biodiversity of the planet occupies the biosphere, the living zone of the planet. Interactions between species are of paramount importance. It’s all well and good for a gray wolf to run around the woods But it’s really important for a gray wolf to run around the woods and do what predators do. It’s the interactions of life that give richness to the biosphere.
What’s being lost with the extinction crisis, or the biodiversity crisis, is not just species but their interactions.
So whats the big deal if we have less insects or mammals or plants?
When you lose a particular insect or butterfly or plant- you lose more than something beautiful in the natural world you lose more than "a resource" you lose an INTERACTION. you lose a critical link in a system of life you lose an understanding and possible future knowledge of what the earth is and our place in it.
Buildings - (especially buildings incorporating biophilic design) can recognize the above and take steps to support and even increase the natural world both for the benefit of nature and for the benefit of our own health and well being.