In a 2002 study, two groups of high school students were asked to spend some time making creative collages. One group made their collages in a setting with direct sunlight and natural wood surrounding them. The other group was in a room built of manufactured materials not found in nature, like drywall and plastic.
When a panel of six independent art critics viewed the students’ finished work, the results were overwhelmingly clear. The students who worked in the natural environment produced more innovative and creative pieces.
It makes perfect sense, our species was designed to wake with the sunlight. For millennia we’ve worked outside, hunting and farming and building societies. We lived in nature and then build shelters of wood and stone.
Then, everything got all … artificial. Synthetic walls, plastic, poly- this and carbon- that. Nature stopped being something we live in and started being something we vacation for. But you can’t pack a year’s worth of nature into a week-long vacation. Natural environments need to be part of our everyday lives. That includes the workplace.
Here are some ways to get started.