"...[Architect Grant] Hildebrand decided to search for the ...[characteristics] of inherently likable buildings. He began with a very basic question: Why might Homo sapiens be drawn to some places and repelled by others? To survive, the first human beings needed food, water, and protection, and their descendants eventually inherited a taste for supportive environments. Our enduring fondness for the combination of field, stream, and grove of trees—hunting range, water, and shelter—is abundantly illustrated in the paintings of old masters, the terrain of many parks, and our scenic kitchen calendars.
As an architect, Hildebrand wanted to identify the man-made equivalents of that archetypal meadow bisected by a brook and edged by trees that so deeply attracts us. Then designers could build those innately appealing features into our homes, thus improving our quality of life and perhaps even our mental health. With colleagues at the University of Washington at Seattle, including the geographer Jay Appleton, the biologist Gordon Orians, and the psychologist Judith Heerwagen, he eventually distinguished five characteristics—
- peril, and
- complex order
—that, more than a spa bath or three-car garage, enhance our experience of home."
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