While on one hand Karl Marx wrote in his “mature analysis of the alienation of nature” about a Metabolic (irreparable) Rift that would occur between humans and nature from capitalist agricultural production and the growing division between town and country (today, 56% of the world’s population, 4.4 billion inhabitants live in cities).
On the other hand the Biophilia Hypothesis by Edward O. Wilson is a theory in Evolutionary Biology which offers us some hope by suggesting that there is an instinctive bond (a Genetic Memorymark) between human beings and other living systems.
Meaning that humans naturally have an instinctive attraction to nature. Think about how many people enjoy gardening, flowers, stray cats and country walks. Supposedly these preferences aren’t cultural, but evolutionary behavior that developed to benefit our survival as a species. For example the love for flowers and plants developed so humans would remember and spot species that provided nutrition.
Also consider how natural environments remains beautiful even on cloudy or rainy days, whereas man made environments don’t.
If this hypothesis is true, then maybe a way to help the transition to a more environmentally friendly culture, could be if outdoor companies and government nurtured that Biophilic bond that already exists. With designs and initiatives that encouraged and facilitated outdoor experiences, contact and connection to the natural environment.
Personally I don’t think it gets any better than doing a sport or pursuit which brings you into nature.
For more on this subject check out a previous post titled “Outdoor Performance Design – The Key to a Sustainable Future?”
On a side note the intro to Björk’s latest music project called “Biophilia”.
The designs can communicate natural beauty like foliage and proud statement to be outdoors.
And marketing can also communicate a soft approach to nature. Because product is not just for consumption, but can also be used for education.
Pingback: Louis Liebenberg on Endurance Running and the Development of Scientific Thinking | 74 FOOTWEAR DESIGN CONSULTING