Living in the city can be stressful. We're busy. We work a lot. We internalize traffic stress, interpersonal stress, and struggle to find the time to get outside in nature.
Not to mention, our homes are oftentimes designed to protect us from the outdoors, not integrate us with the outdoors. This causes extra disconnection from our natural surroundings, only serving to intensify the pressure we may feel in our daily lives.
Thankfully, more and more people are becoming aware of the toll such circumstances can cause on the mind, body, and spirit and are accordingly, finding ways to reconnect with the Great Spirit of the Outdoors, whether by bringing themselves out into nature more or by bringing nature into their homes more.
As a designer, I feel personally responsible for reintegrating nature into my clients' lives. Much can be done in the way of interior design to bring fresh plant and floral life into a home, but my job becomes so much easier when architects design with this spirit in mind. They provide the body that I get to adorn with fresh foliage, brilliant colors, and all that makes us feel under the stars, full of oxygen, safe, and alive.
At Tokyo Design Week, I was able to see some fresh ideas on natural design in urban homes, one of which was this "To Live in a City" home.
From an indoor pillow pit for sunbathing to a star-gazing indoor bathtub, this home opens up the mind to all kinds of new possibilities in new-age home design.
We tend to get so stuck in our ways of thinking, whether that's about design, culture, or our own lifestyles. It's absolutely necessary to get out, travel, and see what the rest of the world has to offer in terms of solutions to modern-day problems. So many people around the globe are facing issues related to economic instability, urban crowding, overwork, underpay, digitization of work and life, and an increasingly difficult work-life balance. If we don't collaborate and learn from others, we risk falling victim to these same pressures even further, rather than finding viable solutions to overcome them.
Looking at how Tokyo designers handle these pressures allows us, in the U.S. and beyond, to become better prepared for our own uncertain future. And that in itself, aside from Shibuya and the sushi, is worth traveling to Tokyo to.