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Citation:Bhaumik, T. (2017). The meld. Explanatory document. An unpublished research project submitted in partial fulfillment for Master of Architecture (Professional). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4239
RESEARCH QUESTION ‘How can built form create invigorating therapeutic spaces that people and animals can inhabit symbiotically to heal each other? “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls” - Rabindranath Tagore Humans are biogenetically programmed to co-exist in harmony with other organic species on the planet, delicately balanced within the cycle. However, over time, we have established ourselves as a pre-dominant species, while assigning subservient roles to other members of the flora and fauna family. Our human environments have gradually become self-destructive while simultaneously disturbing the proportions of nature. This causes us physical discomfort on a daily basis that ultimately results in degenerated bodily health and mental disorders such as depression, stress etc. Although long distanced from our existential habitats of the wild nestled within nature, our Biophilic needs are genetically intrinsic and as important as eating, sleeping, interacting socially etc.; we constantly seek ways to re-immerse ourselves in nature. One such Biophilic bond that has primarily been explored at a small scale is the animal-human bond. A large percentage of species like humans, dogs and horses, have been ‘domesticated’ for many generations, but they still require spaces where they can exhibit their natural behaviours and interact with other members of nature. The key to resolving the daily existential problems of both humans and animals may be this inter-species interaction in an environment where their varied natural affiliations thrive. The design of such spaces would be guided by the knowledge of the physical operations of their bodies – a habitat that rehabilitates the body, enhances mental well-being and rejuvenates the spirit. This inter-species co-existential space would attribute equal importance to all inhabitants, helping to formulate a symbiotic bond through which they learn from one another, develop mutual respect and finally, heal each other. ’