Harmonious Living Principles
21. Use colour to promote the psychological well being of the occupants.
Different colours are known to stimulate people in different ways, so a positive influence of colour in the living environment is important for the wellbeing of the occupants. Natural colours increase the sense of harmony with the natural environment.
22. Design using natural patterns and laws of harmony and proportion, and to a human scale.
All natural forms respond to natural forces, and the same patterns and proportions appear again and again. Using these proportions in built forms increases a person’s innate sense of the rightfulness of a place. Building to a human scale ensures that people feel comfortable in the spaces they inhabit.
23. Create a building that embraces the relevant ancestral, cultural or spiritual origins or the philosophical standpoint of its occupants.
In traditional cultures, spiritual philosophies govern how their buildings are planned and detailed, as well as many other aspects of life. Buildings that reflect the heritage, culture, beliefs or philosophies of individuals or the community help people create a connection with the place they live.
24. Create a building with soulful elements that express the occupants’ creativeness.
The more creativity people can put into places where they live, work or otherwise spend a lot of time in, the more connection they feel with the place and the more respect they will have for it. A building that reflects the soul of the occupants will feel more like home and visitors will also enjoy the character of the place.
25. Design buildings to foster healthy family and community relationships.
Buildings and communities that respect the different relationships people have, providing boundaries and spaces for privacy as well as communality, will ease tensions and promote healthy interaction.
26. Design buildings to complement or reflect the local character of the community.
Regional differences based on local building materials and climate, as well as the general philosophy of the people that live there, create a greater sense of community. This is best achieved by a true understanding of the spirit of the place, rather than slavish copying of traditional details, or fashion trends.
27. Plan housing developments to be away from but with easy access to major traffic routes, and encourage foot and cycle traffic within the neighbourhood.
Major traffic routes are noisy, polluted and hazardous and are not appropriate in living zones, but easy access to them is needed at times. A blend of living, work and retail in a neighbourhood means people can carry out much of their daily life locally and travel on foot or bicycle.
28. Plan housing developments to be away from centres of industry, and encourage a mix of home, small shops and business within the neighbourhood.
Heavy industry businesses should be located together, and well away from living zones. However, light industry and businesses add life to a housing neighbourhood and means people travel less to their workplaces.
29. Choose to be socially responsible and just, whether creating individual homes, housing developments or commercial/industrial developments.
Developments should consider the people that live there, providing places that are healthy to live and work in, and satisfying to the soul. They need to be responsible during the construction phase, providing ethical wages and prices for materials and without compromising open space, design and materials for profit.
30. Create small-scale neighbourhoods with their own identity and resilience, either stand-alone or distinct units within a larger urban area.
Small, self-sufficient communities have less need for commuting, importing goods, or large-scale infrastructure and have increased resilience in the face of diminishing energy supplies or natural disasters. The development of a community identity strengthens the loyalty of residents to where they live, and provides a distinctive attraction for visitors.