Imagination is life
Can we imagine a hospital with interior courts full of flowering plants? How about a hotel lobby naturally lit by sunlight? Can there be a long hotel corridor, one side lined up by rooms, but the other side opening to the nature outside? All these are possible and happening, where the designers, developers and builders together have been conscious about green interiors.
Interiors could be air conditioned, despite them being energy consuming, affecting indoor air quality or leading to sick building syndrome, which are rooted not in the technology, but in the management. The mantra towards A.C. should be to install minimally and maintain meticulously. If we can reduce our greed or some of the needs, thereby avoiding the complete site being built upon, ideas like staggered walls, diagonal planning, internal courts and such others can bring in more air and light.
Indoor plants do wonders, by taking in carbon dioxide to give out oxygen during the process of photosynthesis. They also emit water molecules through the leaves in a process called transpiration which increases humidity. Placing potted plants is a great idea to turn any dull and stale interiors into a vibrant work place. Looking at greenery impacts us psychologically, besides increasing fresh air and humidity.
Colour is definitely a personal choice, but if we can work with non-provocative colours, the interiors can be given a dignified feel. As such, lot of designers work with light colours and pastel shades, which coupled with good day light factor, create a cheerful interior. They also tend to reflect more light, reducing the need for artificial lights. Even if the artificial light is inevitable, the fixtures can be so designed to emulate day light patterns with varying intensities and corners distinguished from the centre. Though lighting design is a small measure, it is proved to influence people. Along with colour, light can set the moods of people, either to quieten them or to provoke them.
Even if such materials are not feasible, soothing colours, varied textures and different surface treatments can be adopted to the interiors, thereby creating a perceptional difference from a non-expressive dull indoors. After all there is no proof to claim that luxurious interiors, opulent finish, posh looks or costly gadgets make up a better interior. Where necessary, we may give the opulent touch, but if not warranted, interiors can be earthy. They may let us stay normal, without feeling conscious of being somewhere conspicuous.
Such human moods may not be a part of sustainable designs today; however, buildings designed in a more earthy way with stone, bricks, mud, wood and tiles tend to appeal to us differently compared to the mainstream conventional buildings. May be for such reasons, most health centres, nature resorts, weekend cottages, holiday homes and such others adopt designing with nature. If so, why not extend such design approach to our places of work and stay as well?