What is Biophilia?

Have you ever noticed that you feel drawn to nature? If you ask someone to describe an environment where they feel happy and relaxed, you may hear them describe the sandy beaches along the coast, a hike in the mountains, tending to a garden or simply relaxing by a stream underneath the sun. Our outlets are different but yet one in the same. Many of us feel most at peace when in nature.

This is what biophilia is. Biophilia is the innate human tendency to interact or be closely associated with nature. It is built upon the understanding that humans need connection with nature to thrive. It's the understanding that since the beginning of time, humans have been closely linked to their natural environment and is a fundamental part of who we are. When we connect with our surroundings, it enhances our wellbeing and even can improve our ability to think clearly and perceive more efficiently.

When was it first identified?

The term Biophilia was first introduced in the 1960s by social psychologist Erich Fromm, where he described it as “the passionate love of life and all that is alive”. It was further built upon by conservationist Edward O Wilson in the 1980s where he defined it as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”. From all the differences in their approach, one theme emerged - that humans have an innate affinity with living things and natural surroundings.

When we look at the earliest cave paintings, Greek Temples and ancient figurines, we are reminded that humans have always responded to nature by recreating it in their built surroundings. Which comes to no surprise since nature makes us feel good and has sustained our existence.

What is Biophilic Design?

If you have ever been confined to an office or room with no windows, artificial light and regulated air and wondered why you felt unmotivated and tired, you'll understand just how important biophilia and biophilic design is.

Biophilic design is a human-centered approach to interior and building design that focuses on the human connection to the natural world. It builds on the principles of biophilia to incorporate elements of nature into the built environment. It's created through developing a sense of harmony between your home and the world outside through focusing on aspects of the natural world that have contributed to humans.

You can observe biophilic design through large atriums that let natural light in, having plants introduced into an office environment and water features like fountains that provide a calming and familiar white noise. The ways in which biophilic design can be leveraged in designing an environment are endless, with the intention being to bring nature in there are so many brilliant ways to do this. The goal is simply for us humans to feel connected to nature in our everyday lives so we can improve our health and happiness levels.

What is Biophilia?
Co-Founder & Lead Designer

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