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What is Biophilic Design?

What is Biophilic Design?

Since I can remember I have always loved to be in nature its a place that makes me feel happy. Most of us enjoy being out in nature without questioning ‘why’ Most of us know that when we spend time in natural environments, we feel good.

enjoying nature

Fuu J, Unsplash

Biophilia is the inherent human desire to connect with other living things and not just for survival but also feeds our craving for aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive, spiritual meaning, and satisfaction. As we begin to understand biophilia at this more profound level, we appreciate our lost relationship and know that we need to re-nature our lives for our overall wellbeing.

 Biophilia - The passionate love of life and of all that is alive - Erich Fromm 1973 


Biophilic Design takes positive elements of nature to bring them into our indoor spaces. Three basic principles are encompassing fourteen patterns that we can follow to enhance our living spaces. We can use these principals as tools to enrich our homes.

1. Nature in the space
Being in direct contact with nature has the most powerful effect on us, there is scientific research that proves for our health and wellbeing it is beneficial for us to feel a part of nature on a regular basis. Bringing natural elements into our interiors spaces provides us with that contact. This can be via a view of nature or arrangements of plants, water features, natural air flow, scents and sounds considering all of the five senses will bring about balance. The following principles will guide us to bring that balance to our spaces.

Visual connection to nature
Non-visual connection to nature 
Non-rhythmic movement 
Thermal & airflow variability 
Presence of water 
Dynamic & diffuse light
Connection with natural systems 

2. Nature Analogues
Organic elements give us an indirect connection to nature, providing a sense of wellbeing; our brains see analogs as prompts to our relationship to the natural world. The provision of nature in design elements such as textile patterns, artwork, furniture, and surfaces, induces that sense of connection we crave for us to thrive.

Biomorphic forms & patterns 
Material connection with nature 
Complexity & order

3. Nature of the Space
The nature of the space also evokes the spiritual sense of space and how we relate to our environments. It is in our nature to be fascinated by the slightly dangerous or unknown. We are naturally intrigued by spaces that give a sense of mystery or peril and this excites us holding our interest and enthusiasm.


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