As we begin this new decade I am excited to share Living Oak’s philosophy.
As the founder of the company, it has taken a few years of living and untold hours walking in the woods to be able to easily explain it. Now though, Living Oak’s philosophy sits firmly at the very core of my being. I am so honoured to be here on this amazing planet with such a clear purpose. It is said that a business is simply an extension of its founder’s heart and it is!
We started off as a niche construction company, only getting involved in projects that include elements of oak frame. That is still the case, however there is a lot more depth to what we offer now that we are aware of the tangible well-being benefits that our buildings provide.
Ultimately we build things for people to live in, but it’s not just about the square meterage we create. Buildings should warm the heart, feed the soul and delight the eye but… it’s even more than that!
In our Western style of living, man is the most important thing in the known Universe. Conversely, there are many cultures worldwide that live with the ethos of nature and man being as one, Chinese Tao, Japanese architecture, indigenous tribes in the Amazon and various other pockets around the globe, including the much talked about Blue Zones.
There is a growing movement, where nature is becoming more important. At Living Oak, we believe there is a bridge between the two ways of being, a connection that bridges the divide between urbanisation and nature.
As a species we have an innate need to connect and respect nature, something that is gaining momentum at long last, with Greta raising the global consciousness in recent times. Whether this is fast enough is another story, given the speed of the industrial growth of the planet. We have experienced a nature deficit disorder, which we need to change. Our kids need to spend time in nature, so they grow up respecting and valuing it.
There are now a number of scientific studies that prove the benefits of connecting with nature, from the speed of recovery of patients in a hospital ward with a park view, versus a ward without a view, to the Japanese preventative health care practice of forest bathing (Shinrin-yoku – opens the senses and bridges the gap between us and the natural world).
Our living spaces offer a connection to nature embedded in the design. Homes that invite the outside in and extend your house beyond its walls into the environment around it. They also stimulate a connection with your loved ones,by creating rooms that you love to spend time in…together.
When we are connected to nature, our planet, the Universe, a deeper sense of meaning pervades our being and that ripples out touching the wider population, for greater good of mankind. And as we know ripples can become waves, a butterfly’s wings can begin a storm.
This is why Living Oak’s philosophy is so very much entwined in what we create.
Stuart MacArthur, Founder and Creative Director