For many years now, design and architecture have seen a great influence on sustainable design practices. From energy efficient lighting and plumbing fixtures to better insulating windows, the way we build is changing. But what is Biophilic Design? The term ‘biophilia’ was first used in 1964, by psychologist Erich Fromm as a way to describe a human attraction to nature. Today the term is becoming the cornerstone of how we design into the future.
According to Harvard Universtiy Graduate School of Design, Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing places where we live, work and learn. It is the search for the architecture of life. Buildings that connect people with nature – hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children’s test scores are higher, offices where workers are more productive and communities where people know more of their neighbors and families thrive. Biophilic Design points the way toward creating healthy and productive habitats for modern humans.
Biophilic Design should not be confused to simply adding plants to spaces. This new wave of design is a data based way of designing where humans are studied in different environments to prove the need to be connected to nature in order to live a healthier life.
Architects, interior designers, and engineers need to work together to achieve spaces that offer a better way of living. By incorporating organic elements to your design such as adding live greenery, natural light (skylights and windows) and organic surfaces and textures studies show people are happier and improve productivity.
It is important to point out the difference between ‘green’ design and ‘biophilic’ design. The first one focuses on sustainable practices for environmental conservation, while the second one focuses on health and wellbeing.
If you are starting the design process, make sure to ask your design team about the ways you can improve your space for a healthier and happier experience for you, your clients, your staff and your family.
For more information check out the documentary Biophilic Design: Architecture of Life.