A safe living environment is a prerequisite for any lifeform. Humans having an edge over others went on to shape the best of built and indoor environment. What started as a need for safety over natures extremities has moved into turning indoors into rich comfort zone. Initially what was used to build and create came as available in nature. The need changed to comfort and the products went on to be custom created for individual requirements. A safe indoor space is now a given, design and products being used have become a priority of any indoor space. The cutting edge in design and technology advancement in the field being used today gives us products and services to create spaces of our imagination.
Today we do not save ourselves from the nature’s extremities; we create our own indoor environment with any variation required. The windows do not open to bring in fresh air but to enjoy the outside view from within our comparted environ. Surely such cities and towns are less compared to the world. Lot of the world population may still be living away from this comfort zone but this is what is promoted. This is the way cities and towns are built. This is what the modern civilization aims for. We aim for a superior indoor environment from what we already are in. The need is relative but is it existent all around. The residential environment still varies in its required exposure based on location and economic capacity but the work environment is all about shutting off to the outside world.
The products we use indoors are limitless and varied. Their product range is as diverse as its users from standardized to customised, for rich to poor the products are available for each and all as required. The desire to put best possible design high inputs in an interior environment for maximum comfort and appeal is ingrained in every stratum of society. The products have been refined to such an extent that their usage is exclusive to indoor environs only. Their high maintenance and refined nature have led to further creating more secure and custom indoor spaces. It would not be wrong to say that today besides the people the kind of product being used indoors is also a factor in creating enclosed living and work spaces. The exquisite and personalized indoor spaces take a form where it becomes uneasy to live beyond that environment. Then there are other things which we add on to keep us busy in the enclosed spaces which in themselves are a topic to delve upon.
Some have created and the others are on the path to create environs in complete contrast with outdoors. So much has been the emphasis to save and shut ourselves from outdoors that there are very few examples of a bridged living in an even indoor-outdoor centric environment. What we manufacture for indoors impacts the outdoors in its processing. The cost of indoor comfort is reflecting in the diminishing outdoor quality which is the larger enclosed environment basic to the survival of humans and all other life forms. In the quest to fulfill the need of safety and security over the extremities of nature through the built now even the regular weather is extreme compared to our enclosed comfort. We could care less for outdoor as our indoors take care of most of our needs.
Where does this leave the Outdoor in our daily life? Has too much emphasis on Indoors made us neglect the outdoors?
How much is a person dependent on outdoors on a daily basis in comparison to time spent indoors? Unless we work and consciously spend time in an outdoor environment, in our daily routine we only shuttle from one indoor space to the other. Home to work, work to recreation, recreation to consumption, consumption to socializing it all happens broadly in enclosed spaces. Even the transport is in tune to our enclosed needs. The very transport we use for ease and comfort no more lets us use any open mode of travel because of the air and noise pollution not to forget the chaos it has come to cause. It does not play an inclusive part in what is created for humanity. All that is manmade is in and around outdoors but in ignorance to the immediate environment surrounding it.
What we derive from indoors cannot be completely fulfilled from outdoors. Most of the products used indoors cannot be used outdoors. Certainly life as we live today cannot be imagined in the outdoors. Beyond the indoors what exists in form of outdoors are immediate personal spaces irrelevant in comparative size and rest is mostly in public. In terms of private spaces most of it is either vacant or some have been designed with landscape inputs. The utilization of private outdoor spaces is mostly need based and at times filling for recreational utilities. The emphasis is hardly for developing them as spaces for regular outdoor living. The large part of public spaces is dedicated to utilities with negligible spaces for recreation.
Due to the extremities of nature whatever products that are used in Outdoor are in accordance with the harm they are prone to. When the focus is on outdoors the structures that end up being designed and built take shape to suit outdoor living. A very basic natural input like wood end up getting a different treatment by its use in indoors or outdoors. From paints, polishes and varied surface finishes indoors to a kiln dried exterior wood for outdoors. There is no end to the versatile products available for outdoor use in their most basic form. All products used in outdoors are not manufactured without harm to nature though the comparisons will show us where the positivity lay. There is a concept of having outdoor kitchens but they do not figure in daily use. Conservatories are created for plants though a very few serve as living rooms.
In present scenario the thought of Outdoor living compared to Indoor environment is neither convincing nor supported by products and services.
The benefits and need of outdoor is well known. There is a need to notice outdoor spaces beyond aesthetic features and spaces of utility. Where the technology and human competence has helped in creating near perfect indoor products and environment the same can be used to develop outdoors. Giving equal space to indoor and outdoor in any area could be a start. The choice of spending a part of life outdoors will bring into focus a healthier outdoor atmosphere. The products and services will take shape of this need and demand. Where our Indoors do not shut doors to Outdoors but are developed in harmony with each other is a thought that can be an answer to most of the climate problems we face today.