14 YEARS EXPLORING A UNIQUE PROJECT, ITS CULTURAL CONTEXT, AND ITS LESSONS FOR THE FUTURE OF SUSTAINABLE, AFFECTIVE PLANNING AND DESIGN
RUSH CREEK VILLAGE is a residential development of single-family homes in suburban Worthington, Ohio. Begun in 1954, it is the single largest development of Mid-century homes designed by a single architect, though it remains largely unknown, even in Worthington. And while the community has enjoyed brief notoriety from time to time as the subject of newspaper articles and online discussion, no single document has recorded the scope and relevance of this remarkable accomplishment.
Developed over a span of 25 years in a sleepy Midwest suburb, the neighborhood comprises a single composition of 47 custom-designed residences elegantly sited among wooded ravines and meadows. The community survives into the 21st Century as a more fully-executed validation of Frank Lloyd Wright's organic planning principles than anywhere else. Rush Creek Village was admitted to the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
A UNIQUE LABORATORY FOR VALIDATING BIOPHILIC THEORY
Rush Creek Village residents and visitors are immersed in and projected into their natural environments, to their benefit. This was among modernism’s earliest interests: implementing the findings of “contemporary sciences that have observed organic functioning on closest range and thus to point out how profoundly the entire realm and the fateful art of design can be benefited.” (Neutra, 1956) It was this interest that motivated the Wakefields and van Fossen to undertake their efforts there in Worthington, to saturate the residents there in the experience of nature using an organic architectural lexicon.
Environmental design has focused recently on the set of physiological responses to the natural world (i.e.--reduced stress response, elevated mood, improved concentration), expanding upon E.O. Wilson's discourse on the subject and subsequently substantiated by research. To date, however, there has been a lack of consideration as to the neurological causation of these effects as they relate to the observer's environment. This, it might seem, is because any serious examination of these phenomena of observation require an exploration of perception and consciousness itself. This book explores recently developed models of human consciousness that involve quantum processes observed within sub-neuronal protein structures and proposes a plausible explanation for these effects.