This post is a little different than usual – I hope you’ll enjoy it! I would like you to meet a very special person Natalia Szyk-Trocha, who will soon become the official ambassador of Save The Planet and PLANET FRIENDLY Certificate. We have had many conversations with Natalia, which were so interesting that I would like to quote them in full, but it is simply impossible. So I propose an interview-talk with this exceptional young and talented architect, fascinated by bio and neuroarchitecture, traveler and author of the Savagaya project. Get to know her better. Natalia Szyk-Trocha will soon launch a unique project for Save The Planet.
Darek Stasik: Natalia, we will soon be announcing some big projects for Save The Planet. We are not revealing everything for now, but please tell us about the first idea.
Natalia Szyk-Trocha: Darek, I’m very happy about our meeting today and of course that I will be an ambassador for Save The Planet and the PLANET FRIENDLY Certificate. Thank you for your trust!
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you once again for creating such an extraordinary concept as Save The Planet, which is a store, showroom and restaurant where one can truly experience what eco-friendly living looks like, where we are surrounded by healthy, natural materials, where, thanks to technology, we breathe air of perfect humidity and purity, where our ears are soothed by the sounds of nature and our bellies are filled with nourishing and healthy food. From the moment I walked in there for the first time I felt at home.
Photo: Natalia Szyk-Trocha during the opening of the SAVE THE PLANET Home&Decor zone
I work as an architect by day, but I also make videos about sustainable homes, interiors and unusual buildings. I knew a similar place in South America and for years I have dreamed of something similar being built in Poland. You can imagine my joy and excitement when I first heard about Save The Planet.
Such places are sorely lacking.
Darek Stasik: And you see, it’s already here!
Natalia Szyk-Trocha: Fortunately! As for the projects for Save The Planet, we actually aren’t revealing everything for now, but I’m happy to tell you about a series of videos that will premiere in a few weeks, and its working name is ‘Mini Guide to Designing Healthy and Green Interiors’. These videos will be directed both to architects who would like to learn how to design sustainable interiors, but also to a wide range of people interested in healthy living, i.e. people who want to make changes to their interiors on their own. Because you can do a lot on your own! But in order to change something you first have to notice the problem, so in each episode we will show what doesn’t work in standard interiors and what we can do to change them to healthier, friendlier and more sustainable ones. Starting from the problem and looking for solutions.
However, as far as the PLANET FRIENDLY Certificate is concerned, at the Research and Development Center
I will be helping to prepare criteria from an architectural perspective for the evaluation of buildings and interiors that will apply for the Certificate.
We are also preparing a tool, although for now we are not yet revealing what it is, that will help architects design healthy and environmentally friendly interiors. It will definitely be a large and unique project, which I hope will unite Polish architects who are interested in sustainable architecture.
Darek Stasik: We are starting with the activities very soon and we will keep you updated about everything on our channels. Natalia, please tell us about what our activities will oscillate around, namely bioarchitecture, neuroarchitecture and ecological interior design.
Natalia Szyk-Trocha: Sure, with pleasure. I’ve been involved in ecological architecture for four years. I design eco-friendly homes and interiors and on my Savagaya platform I share my knowledge and show videos I have recorded showing beautiful eco-friendly homes in different parts of the world. However, the most important thing for me is and has always been people. I have spent much of the last year exploring the new topic of neuroarchitecture, which is the science of how the space we live, work, and live in affects us, and how to design to promote well-being, all based on scientific research, of course. This does not imply a move away from ecological design, as one of the main pillars of neuroarchitecture is biophilia, or getting closer to nature and feeling in harmony with nature.
That our surroundings affect us has been known for a long time, but only recently has there been research on the subject. Interestingly, many of the tenets of neuroarchitecture overlap with the principles of Feng Shui, which have been known and applied since ancient times, and now, thanks to the development of neuroscience, it turns out that they have a scientific explanation.
Photo: Save the planet in Posnania, Poznan
The space, the materials, the colors, the light, the positioning of the furniture, it all affects us. And space can be designed to influence us in the right way. There are, of course, different guidelines for different kinds of spaces. We can design a space that is meant to quiet us, or one that is meant to stimulate us, because it is a space for work or creativity.
There are a great many guidelines that we can implement in our bedroom, for example, to significantly improve the quality of our sleep. It all boils down to making the place where we sleep a ‘safe oasis’, and this is influenced by many factors: proper positioning of the bed in relation to the walls, windows and doors, supportive lighting, the right color scheme, air temperature and humidity or natural materials. I once read in a great book “Chasing the Sun” that when sleeping in an unfamiliar place, for example, in a hotel, our brain hemispheres take turns sleeping, one of them awake all the time.
Another interesting fact: the results of the study show that the one group of patients (with the same condition) that had access to nature outside the window got healthier faster than the one that was deprived of it.
Neuroarchitecture is the design of such a space in which a person will feel comfortable, his nervous system supported and in balance Bioarchitecture is design based on nature, both visually and technologically. A biobuilding can look any way it wants, but let’s just say that in its purest form it will not have straight lines, because there are no straight lines in nature. As for energy consumption, it will be based only on renewable energy sources (e.g. electricity from a wind turbine, heating with a heat pump and the sun, a domestic sewage treatment plant, and will be made of natural materials). Many people associate bioarchitecture with clay cottages covered with straw, and that is ok too, but, the same premise can be realized by building houses in virtually any style. So, a bio-architecture will mimic natural shapes, rounded shapes, because straight lines do not exist in nature.
photo: Savagaya archives
Darek Stasik: Can you share an interesting example of such a house?
Natalia Szyk-Trocha: With pleasure. What immediately comes to mind is the most beautiful and well thought-out house I have ever recorded. It was built on the premise of bio and neuroarchitecture, and is located on a Uruguayan beach right on the shores of the Atlantic ocean. This house is called Follow Nature.
The house is inspired by nature. It is placed on poles, does not interfere with the terrain, and vegetation is growing underneath. The designer’s assumption was that with each passing year the house will be “absorbed” into the landscape, greenery will surround it more and more. The wood on the facade patinates and changes color every year, and in my opinion the house looks better and better. The building “cooperates” with the climate with the wind, the sun. It is impossible to tell about it in one sentence, so I encourage you to watch a short video in which I give a tour and talk about this remarkable building.
Darek Stasik: Natalia, I would like to dispel some doubt. Many people think that a natural interior is only a boho-style, earth-colored interior. Not everyone likes such interiors. How can a home be decorated by a lover of modern style, but in the ecological trend?
Awesome that you asked about it. Indeed, many people when they hear organic interior see boho style, that is, natural materials, wood, plants. And I will answer this question perversely. You can decorate an interior in boho style, which will have nothing to do with ecology. For example, instead of a wooden floor, choose panels that imitate wood, instead of wooden furniture full of formaldehyde mdf board covered with wood-like laminate (that is, plastic). And the beautiful tassel bedspreads are nothing but polyester, which is another variety of plastic. In the set, we can paint the walls with ordinary paint full of VOCs, which are very bad for our health, and put in designer home appliances that have a low energy class. It will look green, but it will have nothing to do with ecology.
Now imagine a minimalist black and white interior – it doesn’t connote ecological, does it? But the black floor will be made of natural local stone, the furniture in the dining room will be made of metal, the sofa will be covered with natural fabric, and the walls will be painted, for example, with clay, breathable paint, and energy-saving bulbs will be installed in the lamps.
An eco-friendly interior can be decorated in any style, from glamour, boho, scandi to minimalism. It is not the style that defines about the sustainability of a given interior, but the materials used, installations, appliances, etc.
Darek Stasik: Ok, I agree. But how to start the change, after all, replacing all the home furnishings won’t be eco-friendly either. What would you advise?
Natalia Szyk-Trocha: That’s right, the most ecological things are those we already own. Therefore, when wanting to change something in our interior, let’s first ask ourselves: why are we doing this? If we feel that our apartment is boring and we need a breath of fresh air, I would start by rearranging the furniture we already have, e.g. repainting it in some color and adding new handles + buying some new extra accessories: pillows, a lamp, a cool sofa cover. If our motivation is health and we want to surround ourselves with natural materials, then I would start with the bedroom: because that’s where we spend 1/3 of our lives. It’s also where we’re closest to the objects we choose: we’re lying on a pillow, there’s a mattress under us, a bed frame, etc. I would opt for bedding made of natural materials, a wooden bed, cotton or jute rugs, linen curtains, greenery.
If you are yet to decorate the interior or are planning a major renovation, in my opinion, the most important are the floors, ceilings and walls, because they are the largest surface that can potentially emit harmful substances. So you can bet on flooring made of natural materials (wood, bamboo, cork, stone…), and finish the walls with paint low in VOCs, that unhealthy “smell of newness” when you enter a new apartment. It is worth noting here that these substances are very harmful to our health, studies say that some of them can be released from furniture for up to several years.
The most difficult topic in my opinion is built-in furniture. The most popular material is mdf board, which unfortunately contains a lot of VOCs including formaldehyde. On the other hand, making furniture from wood is very expensive and consumes a lot of raw material. The solution here is plywood, which, by the way, you use in your projects at Save The Planet, or eco-friendly mdf board.
Darek Stasik: These are great patents. We will soon explore even more of them in a joint project for Save The Planet. I’m very interested in recycling, recycled elements or even whole structures can become gems that give the interior a soul.
Natalia Szyk-Trocha: Yes it’s true! My beloved patent is to use second-hand windows and doors. The easiest way is to use them inside, so we can have beautiful carved wooden doors for practically nothing. But there’s nothing stopping you from building them into the facade. I have recorded beautiful houses with used windows in Uruguay, Netherlands and Poland. There are also two interesting projects, one in Poland, the other probably in Scandinavia, where the entire facade is made of second-hand windows, giving the effect of an entire glass patchwork wall. In fact, we can reuse everything, most often we are only limited by our imagination… or the imagination of the architect 😊.
The easiest option to recycle is to remake your furniture with your own hands. Repainting, adding interesting handles, legs, etc.
Fot. Tomasz Cinial
Darek Stasik: I also pay attention to this. At Home&Decor SAVE THE PLANET, we have offerings from Balinese artists – for example, sculptures that were created from pieces of wood thrown by the sea, but not only….
Natalia Szyk-Trocha: You’re probably talking about the wooden installation on the wall? It’s beautiful, it’s a fragment of a Balinese temple that was supposed to end up in the trash. For me, the important thing about this place is that you can come to Home&Decor SAVE THE PLANET and see the furniture live. This rarely happens, because furniture of this type is often sold online or is made to order. It’s a big plus that you can see them, touch them, feel them. Another advantage is comprehensiveness, you can buy furniture, matching lighting, textiles, accessories, linens, tableware.
I laboriously call Save The Planet “your one and only store”, because you can really buy everything there, furniture, lamps, textiles, cosmetics, non-chemical chemicals, clothes, developing toys for children, and fill your belly with healthy and nutritious food. The perfect place.
Darek Stasik: That was exactly the idea behind the whole concept – Experience Center, or experience.
Natalia Szyk-Trocha: That’s exactly it, and it feels like it. It’s the same in the restaurant – we sit on armchairs, at a table you can buy, we eat on ceramic tableware, which is also on offer. Not to mention the ingredients from which the dishes are made – you can get them at Save The Planet, too.
But Save the planet is not just a showroom with furniture, a store and a restaurant. In fact, it’s the perfect show house that we can be inspired by and really experience what eco-friendly living is like, where we are surrounded by healthy, natural materials, where, thanks to technology, we breathe air of perfect humidity and purity, where our ears are soothed by the sounds of nature and our bellies are filled with nourishing and healthy food.
Photo: Dishes served at Save The Planet, Posnania in Poznan.
Darek Stasik: Natalia, thank you for these words and for the conversation. We will soon reveal the details of our joint activities. We will inform you extensively about all the projects and invite you to change the world and your environment together for a healthier and nature-compatible one.
Save the planet Experience Center is located in Posnania Shopping Center in Poznan, on the 1st floor next to E-obuwie.
Phone: 516 822 739
Please also visit:
Our online store: https://shop.savetheplanet.pl
Save the planet Poznań https://savetheplanet.pl
Home&Decor Save the planet: https://homebysavetheplanet.pl
Certified Planet Friendly https://www.obir.pl/certyfikacja/