Let There Be Light

I’m worried. Are you?

I’ll tell you why I’m worried: Progress and evolution are beautiful things. If we’re not marching forward, we’re moving backward. I get that. But what I don’t get — and what worries me — is that all of our ostensible progress and some of the directions in which we’re evolving are taking us away from our own natures, from our own biology and physiology.

Does that sound overstated? Does it seem crazy? Maybe. But overstatement and crazy don’t explain this: “The #1 Office Perk? Natural Light“:

Access to natural light and views of the outdoors are the number one attribute of the workplace environment, outranking stalwarts like onsite cafeterias, fitness centers, and premium perks including on-site childcare … the absence of natural light and outdoor views hurts the employee experience. Over a third of employees feel that they don’t get enough natural light in their workspace. 47% of employees admit they feel tired or very tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, and 43% report feeling gloomy because of the lack of light.

It Gets Worse

As if that kind of statement-of-the-obvious being positioned as reportage weren’t alarming enough (it is), there’s this: “The Growing Influence of Biophilic Interiors“. I can’t even tell you how much I wish I were making that up. I’m not:

Biophilia can be described as an affinity with nature and natural environments. In relation to interiors, biophilia brings the outside in by placing elements of nature within a hospitality environment. Examples of this are allowing a greater amount of natural light into the space or developing green environments including horticulture as this can create a fresh ambiance.

The logic of that piece is something along these lines: We as human beings — as creatures of nature — want and need other elements of nature like light and plants. Really? If we’ve reached the point at which we need to be told those things, I’m even more worried than I thought I was.

Let’s Fix This

Creating the right working or living space doesn’t need to be anywhere near this complicated or pseudo-scientific. All we have to do is:

  1. Start from the awareness that we’re creatures of nature with natural biological and physiological needs.
  2. Agree on the elements that will best meet those needs and suit our individual tastes and styles.
  3. Work together to create the space that fulfills 1 and 2.

If we do that (we absolutely can), it’ll definitely be a ray of light, won’t it?

And I’ll be much less worried. Won’t you?

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