Week 05: Our Alienation with Nature

“Fewer and fewer people, and especially children, have daily contact with nature, an ongoing alienation termed the “extinction of experience”

-Masashi Soga, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment Journal

Infographic from “Extinction of experience: the loss of human-nature interactions” by Masashi Soga


For years, scholars and doctors have been writing about the rising human detachment from nature. Modern day amenities, including air conditioning and television, have been decreasing people’s time spent outdoors.

Research on the restorative effects of nature and the negative health impacts of indoor air shine a light on the frightening reality of our retreat from the outdoors. It is not only our job as designers to enhance the human condition indoors, but to also maintain a connection to surrounding context and encourage a healthy lifestyle.


Case Study: Blurring the Lines Between Indoor and Out

A Sao Paulo Home for Four: Dwell Magazine
Architect: Studio MK27


In the middle of a sprawling, traffic-clogged city, this home provides a needed connection to nature. Rather than bringing the outdoors in, or mimicking natural forms and patterns, this space blends the two together seamlessly.

“By keeping the front and back gardens at the same elevation as the living area, Kogan created one giant living space. A large overhang means that even on a rainy day, the Cósers can live practically without walls”


Framed views to the outdoors replace the typical flatscreen TV and celebrate what is just a few steps away.


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