I try to walk to work most days.
As an urbanite, my commute isn’t onerous and the exercise feels good especially on those days were I really feel I need it.
I have been living and working in Toronto for a long time but have rarely spent time in the area where we now live. Everything seems new. It feels good to look at things from a fresh perspective. On my walks I have noticed the state of Toronto’s inner city public schools. I see a few on my way to and from work and most seem in dire need of repair.
As an Interior Designer, it got me thinking about what I do and how the work I do influences how people feel.
Does the appearance of a place make you feel something?
Do you feel valued when you are in or around a space or a building that is in disrepair?
The feelings you experience can manifest themselves in your actions. You live in your workplace or your school for a large part of your day. Your surroundings influence you. If you live, work or are being educated in a place that is not taken care of, is poorly planned or isn’t functional what does that say about its respect for its inhabitants.
How does that make you feel?
If you live, work or are educated in a place that is well maintained and at least functional would your sense of well being change? Would you feel more confident? Would you consider the world around you differently?
How does space affect us?
It’s different for everyone. I am sure you will agree that we are influenced by many things in life and as an Interior Designer I am acutely aware that my surroundings influence me. I am certainly not alone. I do wonder if the average person even considers whether their surroundings have an effect on their psyche.
Does it need to be an extreme before the effect is noticeable?
I don’t think so.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
If you have the opportunity to improve something in your life you do it yet collectively as communities, businesses, economies, constituencies or cities we are fundamentally influenced by other priorities. The appearance of a place is highly subjective. It’s because of this subjectivity that it is very difficult to convince a policy maker, leader or influencer that simply changing the appearance of a place can change how people feel while they are surrounded by it.
We are easily influenced by abstracts such as colour without even thinking about it so it’s not such a farfetched notion that the space we inhabit influences us in its configuration, functionality and appearance.
Take a look around your place; home, office, shop, school, wherever you are.
How does it make you feel?
That brings us to today’s quote.
First and foremost Arthur Erickson is a Canadian and on this Canada Day 2013, I thought he would represent this piece well. His architecture, if you know it, speaks for itself. Mr. Erickson offers us a statement that sums up the feeling of this post in two simple sentences. Thank you, sir. Happy Canada Day to you and my fellow Canadians.
All of you.
If that doesn’t brighten your day then maybe this will.
Have a great Monday and an awesome week.
If you want to read last week’s quote simply click here.