Biophilic Design and the Built Environment

Biophilic design connects people to where they live, work and learn using the power of natural materials, natural light, vegetation and views of nature in the built environment. More than that, bringing nature indoors has been shown to improve people’s health, happiness, creativity and productivity.   Our favourite resources: Resource 1: 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design Terrapin Bright Green’s in-depth paper provides foundation knowledge about biophilic design plus 14 key ways human needs can be incorporated into architecture and interiors.   Resource 2: This is what biophilic design looks like in real life An overview of how biophilic design can be practically applied in the built environment with a focus on indoor green spaces, the importance of airflow variability and natural materials.   Resource 3: An introduction to biophilic design This easy read outlines the benefits of biophilic design in the workplace on health and wellbeing while providing useful downloadable reports and resources on how to incorporate biophilia into design.   Resource 4: Biophilic design: The architecture of life Once you view the fascinating trailer for the documentary of the same name, you’ll want to watch the whole thing. Click the trailer to see how to download in full and be sure to read the excellent viewing notes beforehand.   Resource 5: What is biophilic design? Brilliant overview of biophilic design looking at how it can positively affect both mental and physical health, backed up by great statistics. Scroll to the bottom of the page for links to further research.   Natural materials Human receptors can quickly tell the difference between real and synthetic materials, thus, the use of natural materials with minimal processing in architecture and interiors is a key component of biophilic design. The right choice of materials can have a significant impact on human wellbeing, proven by two studies (Tsunetsugu, Miyazaki & Sato in 2007; and Lichtenfeld in 2012) which show that a material connection with nature in design increases creative performance and reduces blood pressure respectively.   To bring these benefits to the washroom, we created The Aerofoil using Carrara or Negro Marquina marble. Hand honed and semi-polished, it can bring a natural touch to any washroom.  Amore Pacific headquarters Image 1 & 2: Amorepacific HQ in Korea, designed by David Chipperfield Architects. Photo by Noshe Image 3: 'A45' Cabin prototype in the Hudson valley. Designed by BIG. Photo by Matthew Carbone. Image 4: Facebook HQ in Silicon Valley. Designed by Frank Gehry

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