Nature is defined as “the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations.”
Why “nature as opposed to humans”? If Nature is a life-giving force, doesn’t that mean that Humans come from Nature?
As an architect, I have always been inspired by Nature. I have always been fascinated with the variety of natural structures from tree branches and leaves, to roots and fruits. Nature displays beauty, function, consistency and structure. It explains the meaning of ecological systems, order and sustainability, and biological synergy. Nature speaks through the power of the elements, like wind, water, fire, and earth. She mixes the most vibrant of colors while revealing unforgettable landscapes. She lives and flows all around us, and we as humans thrive upon it. Nature holds and feeds us all, offering amazing creatures and incredible art. Nature is an inspiration for all, and it is possible to build alongside Nature in order to have environments with pure natural virtues.
Why do Humans see the Nature as the opposite force?
Nature is challenging, complex, and sometimes contradictory and unforgiving. It is the most quintessential concept we know, organic and free-form, and yet very structured and orderly. Nature isn’t entirely picture perfect, as fires, tornados, flooding and other natural disasters contribute to Nature’s wild side. Is this why we think we are on the opposite side of Nature? Maybe, but I’m sure there is more to it than that, considering the economic, social and political factors, that if we go in depth, it would make this paper very long.
A shift in one’s mindset can make a significant difference. Cultivating it at all levels from the newborn to the elderly, these lifetime changes can create a culture that embraces the partnership with Nature. While exploring Nature, we have to make sure to replenish her resources, so we can replenish ourselves and able to sustain. Additionally, as Humans constantly find ways to conserve Nature’s assets, we can also foster the growth of future biological discoveries that can ultimately lead to a greater inspiration and innovation. Obviously, it is not an easy task but we have to continuously learn to understand Nature, to respect it, to use its flow and powers in our thinking and our lives.
As architects, we bear a great responsibility for designing with nature, creating trusting relationships that encourage positive social interaction, and sustainable growth. Achieving good plan flows and delightful experiences by integrating passive designs, natural ventilation, daylighting, solar and wind powers, preserving the landscape, green roofs, reducing the footprint impact, adopting and reusing existing building, recycling and reducing materials…we will solidify our existence on earth.
Ultimately, doing our best as a natural being, a designated steward and Nature’s peace maker, we have a very good chance of being included in the definition of Nature. Just like a bird’s nest, the man-made creations won’t feel that strange after all.