This month’s edition of the Harvard Business Review has an interesting blurb on the Bioscleave House in East Hampton, New York. Check out this link at the New York Times for more details on this “unorthodox” living space:
The architects designed the house to promote what they term “death resistance.” In other words, they created an environment which forces occupants to navigate uncertain, disorienting, and sometimes even dangerous spaces. Per the NYT piece:
All of it is meant to keep the occupants on guard. Comfort, the thinking goes, is a precursor to death; the house is meant to lead its users into a perpetually “tentative” relationship with their surroundings, and thereby keep them young.
Now take a look at your current living environment as well as the typical route you traverse to and from work. It’s pretty predictable, orderly ,and sanitized, isn’t it?
I think the architects may be on to something here. We are not built for comfort, certainty, and orderliness. In fact, nature itself is irregular, uncertain, and very often dangerous. But it’s also exactly what we’ve adapted to over thousands of years.
Remember, there were no perfectly symmetrical or level environments “back in the day.” Perhaps that’s why going on a hike in the mountains or “roughing it” on a camping trip is so restorative…