Biophilic design

Biophilia is a term popularized by Harvard University myrmecologist and conservationist E.O. Wilson to describe the extent to which humans are hard-wired to need connection with nature and other forms of life.

Wilson describes it this way: “Biophilia…is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of ultimate human nature” (Wilson, “Biophilia and the Conservation Ethic,” in The Biophilia Hypothesis, 1993, p.31). 

We need nature in our lives more than ever today, there is mounting research and evidence that there are emotional and psychological benefits of nature. Research shows its ability to reduce stress, to aid recovery from illness, to enhance cognitive skills and academic performance, and to aid in moderating the effects of ADHD, autism and other childhood illnesses.

Recent research suggests even that we are more generous in the presence of nature; all these values are in addition to the immense economic value of the ecological services provided by natural systems. 

'Support for the practice of biophilic design has been growing and there are now many exemplary examples of buildings that seek to integrate natural features and qualities. We recognize the need for biophilic workplaces, for healing gardens and spaces in hospitals, and for homes and apartments that provide abundant daylight, natural ventilation, plants and greenery.'

An example of biophilic design and development is the high line in New York City, although me and my boyfriend visited it during the winter, it was so calm and refreshing compared to the loud, modern streets we had walked through all day: 

This 'biophilic cities' site is devoted to understanding how cities can become more biophilic and tells the stories of the places and people working to creatively build these urban-nature connections.

'The Biophilic Cities Project is an umbrella term that refers to research and policy work on biophilic cities, both domestically and internationally, by Professor Tim Beatley and his team at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture.

Its principal aim is to advance the theory and practice of planning for biophilic cities, through a combination of collaborative research, dialogue and exchange, and teaching. Researchers at UVA partner with city collaborators, to assess and monitor biophilic urban qualities and conditions, to identify obstacles and impediments to achieving more biophilic cities, and to identify and document best practices in biophilic urban design and planning.'

'Biophilic Cities are cities that contain abundant nature; they are cities that care about, seek to protect, restore and grow this nature, and that strive to foster deep connections and daily contact with the natural world. Nature is not something optional, but absolutely essential to living a happy, healthy and meaningful life.'

They are:
  • Biodiverse cities, that value, protect and actively restore this biodiversity
  • Green and growing cities, organic and natureful; 
  • Cities that provide abundant opportunities to be outside and to enjoy nature through strolling, hiking, bicycling, exploring
  • Rich multi sensory environments, where the sounds of nature (and other sensory experiences) are appreciated as much as the visual or ocular experience
  • Globally responsible cities that recognise the importance of actions to limit the impact of resource use on nature and biodiversity beyond their urban borders

In biophilic cities:
  • Residents feel a deep affinity with the unique flora, fauna and fungi found there, and with the climate, topography, and other special qualities of place and environment that serve to define the urban home
  • Citizens can easily recognise common species of trees, flowers, insects and birds (and in turn care deeply about them)
  • There are many opportunities to join with others in learning about, enjoying, deeply connecting with, and helping to steward nature, whether though a nature club, organized hikes, camping in city parks, or volunteering for nature restoration projects

Here is some biophilic inspiration for your home:

'We think that plants are playing an increasingly significant role in our urban environment. 
The conditions for growing have always been the intensive care and plenty of natural light. So we decided to design the mygdal plant light to greenery to grow in windowless spaces as hotels or restaurants. It doesn’t require any human care like ventilation or irrigation. The plant light makes use of the physical similarity between Led and sunlight. 
Thus, the plants can perform photosynthesis. The luminaire is a completely self-sustaining ecosystem where the plants can grow undisturbed for years. The standing lamp provides a new type of electrically conductive glass coating (patent requested), which is able to stream the electricity invisible along the surface. 
There is no longer a cable connection between the power source and the Led necessary.'

 This bathroom rug is made of three types of moss which thrives in humid conditions, making the piece ideal for the bathroom. 
The moss drinks in the water that drips on your feet.
You can buy this bathmat online, but you can also make your own by following this guide.



"If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."


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