How do I go about designing the home of my dreams? I have begun by diving deep into the principals of natural design that roots itself in a philosophy where we must include the whole environment when considering construction of any kind.
Eugene Tsui, Evolutionary Architect is one inspiring character who simply and poetically explains the inadequacies of the square box in an interview with "First Earth" Why has the square become the standard template for where home construction begins? Eugene breaks down the box!
"One of the assumptions of human made architecture is that it has to be rectilinear. And I think that is probably the most lethal odious assumption. Because the square box is one of the worst structures you could ever invent. You notice that nature never has anything square -- there's a reason for that! If there was anything square, ever, in the 5-billion-years history of nature, it lasted maybe a minute. Because the square box is probably, from my research, the most inefficient, ineffective shape in the universe. And I'll tell you why.
When you try to put pressure on a box, there's 2 places it'll break apart, the flat planes and the corners. The flat planes are very difficult to reinforce, so you have to put more material there to resist stress (take the standard 2x4 framing for example). So that means utilizing material in a very poor fashion (cutting down swaths of forest just to make a shape stronger than it inherently is), and the entire construction world assumes we have to do that. Another very weak point in a square are the corners. When you put pressure on the planes the corners will start to skew and break open. Which then require mores material for more reinforcement.
A box is defenseless when you have a fire, especially because most fires are carried by wind, and if you blow fire against the side of a box, a flat surface, it'll actually create a suction, and the surface will create a target for fire, there's no place for it to go, because it's flat, so it burns, and burns. And in an earthquake or tsunami or in any kind of stressful situation, the box just doesn't hold up.
When you try to heat a box or cool it down, the hot or cold air will rise, and stay there at the top. So where you are, at the floor level, it's not getting to you. And so we wonder, Okay, we're paying all these heating bills, but where's the heat? It's up in the ceiling! So are solution is try to make energy cheaper but in reality we really need to make architecture smarter!
Now the impact of living in a square can be quite detrimental. Think about how we move in spaces? We move usually in arcs and curves. You never see anybody walking straight, and then a 90-degree angle turn, and then turn again 90 degrees, to get where we are going. The box doesn't accommodate our natural physical way of movement. So when you combine all of these inadequate features of this square, or this cube, you come up with an anti-solution. It's not a solution at all. The box forces us to buy more materials, consequently creating industries insatiable thirst to mine more materials from our environment, cut more trees, mine more limestone, more dredging of our oceans for sand, all to reinforce an inferior shape."
Lets start talking triangles and circles!