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Boho Bliss : A Maslowian Ascent

Prisha Agarwal, Vaishnavi E, Lokakshi Katara & Vasundhra Pisal

A bohemian, by definition, is a wanderer—individuals who embody the essence of musicians, writers, and artists in their life journey. They lead an unbound existence, shaping the life they desire, free from societal constraints. Designing a space for such a unique audience is no small feat.

Bali, a haven for these bohemians, represents a pseudo-Bohemia teeming with potential for artistic, creative, and spiritual pursuits. Its natural topography, adorned with green vegetation and pristine beaches, seamlessly aligns with the Bohemian lifestyle. Bali was the perfect choice for our hostel, a locale that resonates with the Bohemian persona.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, a psychological theory, serves as the foundation for our hostel design—an expanded version that corresponds to specific need levels on each floor. Let's delve into the details.

Level 1 - Physiological Needs: This foundational level addresses the most basic human needs—food, warmth, health, homeostasis, and water. Our first level is an eating space, offering customization, dependency, and comfort with both a staff-manned restaurant kitchen and a self-cooking area with an adjacent grocery shop.

Level 2 - Safety Needs: Once basic needs are met, there's a natural progression to safety and security. This level features basic dormitories and locker rooms, providing a safe environment to rest and securely store belongings.

Level 3 - Social Needs (Love and Belonging Needs): Fulfilling physiological and safety needs leads to a pursuit of acceptance from others in the form of love and belongingness. Varied room options—king-sized, single, and themed rooms—encircle a central community area fostering emotional connections.

Level 4 - Esteem Needs: Recognition in society becomes crucial at this stage. Beyond acknowledgment from others, there's a need for self-esteem and personal worth. For creatively-driven bohemians, this is satisfied through spaces dedicated to Bali's cultural art forms, taught by the local community.

Level 5 – Knowledge and Understanding: As self-esteem needs are fulfilled, a desire for intellectual growth emerges. Library spaces, computer labs, and breakout/discussion rooms cater to this need, fostering holistic learning.

Level 6 - Aesthetics: After stimulating both hemispheres of the brain, a need for personal aesthetics arises. Here, we provide a gym, spa, and parlour, offering beauty and balance amid life's chaos.

Level 7 - Self-Actualization Needs: This stage focuses on realizing one's full potential. Yoga and meditative spaces are provided, guiding individuals on their journey of personal growth and development.

Level 8 - Transcendence: The desire to move beyond oneself is fulfilled here. Those who reach transcendence find radical peace and acceptance, leading spiritually awakened lives.

Our design inspiration, the obelisk—a symbol of creation, rebirth, peace, and harmony—perfectly embodies our aim. Deconstructing the obelisk led to corner skylights illuminating interiors with natural light, providing serene views of the sky.

On the topmost level, a rainwater harvesting system gently slopes towards a central shaft, creating beautiful views and recharging the groundwater table. Materiality emphasizes local, vernacular elements—clay bricks and bamboo—for aesthetic, cool interiors.

In conclusion, our bohemian-inspired hostel in Bali epitomizes sustainability, aesthetics, and a genuine embrace of the bohemian spirit. Through thoughtful design, cultural integration, and a focus on holistic well-being, the hostel offers a unique space for individuals seeking an unconventional, impactful, and harmonious way of life.

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