Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Human Comfort and Re-habs

Here is one of my several quotes of the day. This is New York-based “green architect” Chris Benedict’s answer to the question, How do you define it (“green architecture”)?

“I used to refer to it as environmentally sound design. For me, this meant using recycled construction materials and finishes that require minimal amounts of energy to manufacture. Then I began looking at the infrastructure of buildings, and I developed a more holistic view. The truth is, buildings are like bodies. To work well, all their elements have to be in sync. Today, I examine the individual pieces and systems of each building to integrate them into a working whole that is healthy unto itself and its inhabitants, that is energy efficient and durable and that creates as little pollution and waste as possible.” (Metropolitan Home, A Green Piece of Mind - Feb. 2006)

"How do you adjust your perception of your interaction so that it can become productive, rather than destructive?" (Kathy Oddenino, Sharing, 235)

Chris Benedict talks about perceived costs, collaborative efforts, human comfort, and the perception that “green” means “having to wear sweaters and live in raw, strange places.” As the song goes, it’s not easy being green only because we have forgotten what green means to us. I’m typing here, listening to the wind hitting the sides of the house hard, then sweeping up, across, away. I have a sweater on, but this is not a raw, strange place to me. Reading this article, I think again about why we are easily deterred by perceived costs, when we begin with adjusting only the outside layers, or inserts of things to make the changes we think we want (adding solar panels, inserting new pipes, etc.). This is a good reminder of why we experience the efficiency of integrated structures when the intention of the creation, or change, has the whole in mind. Like our bodies, all other structures retain their creation’s comfort and purpose longer when the design is defined. We are having to learn, to remember, why the design of our bodies is an “intelligent design,” and what this means to us.

I just ate some Ben & Jerry’s Gobfather ice cream, and am thinking about that collaborative effort too. And “they” say taste is all in our nose?

It is interesting how we began to think we must be protected (sheltered) from the elements, and where this has taken us. I hear the impact of the wind, I think of the thin twigs of branches on the Bradford pear trees in the front yard, I think of their strength despite their size, I think of the way the gravel sounded as I walked from my car to the front door, I remember how the strap of my bag felt ii my hand, I remember the way the wind felt on my face as a big gust passed. I remember the taste of the ice cream, and all I felt as it slid from my mouth down my throat. I tap a dance on the desktop. Dissonance and harmony: twin brothers just trying to make up? The day of walking across tarmac that ended not at sharp edges, but more like forgotten overflows, came back to my mind like a dream, and I remember the small prop planes parked across the way, waiting. These images come to mind just by thinking about entry-halls and looking through glass, the cinder blocks that make up walls, pictures of large lamps with creamy oval shades that hover over landscapes of wood or pulped pages.

Would it be true for you to say, “Every day, I’m happy in my space”?

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