GATHERING THREE - Biophilia in Design.
Updated: Aug 25
A serious platform to change design wellness.
Frank Lloyd Wright Falling water's residence in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, Built in 1935-1937.
The person who offered the word BIOPHILIA
is the German psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in 1973 and he defined it as
“The passionate love of life and of all that is alive whether a person, a plant, an animal or a social group.”
As I see it, Biophilia is a possible framework that helps one to understand and implement our Innate Connection with nature, and how to weave a more positive co-depend relationship for greater health and wellbeing.
On the macro level, there is nothing new with BIOPHILIA as humans have always questioned how to relate to our environment.
For example, the 2 most important ancestral practices of Vaastu Shastra (India) and Feng Shui (China) have taught us for millenniums how to best harmonise our physical experience with the planet.
The study of the environment through these grids supports our analytical Western contemporary minds and allows us to gather critical information (1) in the area of building, architecture, design or styling.
An evaluation is based on 3 categories: with a total of 14 principles as in the table below.
There is a lot of information online if you are curious to know more. Just reach out if you feel overwhelmed and want my opinion.
What fascinates me, is the correspondences or the effects & affects weaved between our innate sensing of a specific environment and our physiological responses.
For instance, why a crackling fire captivates us, why a garden view enhances joy, creativity and well-being, or why shadows and heights intrigue us and may even stimulate a positive fear, or why an animal's company and walks in nature are so restorative to our deep selves.
Adapting Biophilic principles in the architecture of a hospital so that patient reduce their intake of painkillers, or return home faster thanks to a window with a view to nature!
These are not some isolated experiences, they are nowadays part of building principles applied and required for prominent building accreditations (2).
The effects are endless as we enable harmony at the root level, the core pulse of our system. Through this process we sprout new vital connections that create balance, enabling empowerment and truth.
If a room with a view creates such a radical shift in a hospital, a school or a hotel, why not use these same principles in your own home?
Why not apply the same evaluation and design so that you retrieve the same benefits?
Are you curious about how your unique system negotiates this innate love for nature; which is subconscious, primal, and innately wired in our nervous system?
There are so many designs and interior mechanisms that support layers of ourselves, more subtle, beyond logical hierarchy; the essential drops of knowledge that bind all and everything.
(1) A few numbers:
Office environment – reduction of 15% of absenteeism (a) while 10% of employee absence can be attributed to working in environments with no connection to nature (b).
Increase performance by 10% to 25% on tests of mental function and memory recall.(c )
In a school environment only Optimising exposure to daylight alone can Increase the speed of learning by 20-26% (d).
In hospitality, The Opryland Hotel in Nashville, which is abundant in Biophilic features, enjoys 85% occupancy/. This is well above the national average of 68% (e ).
(a) Romm, Joseph J. and William D. Browning (1994) “Greening the building and the bottom line.” Rocky Mountain Institute, Colorado)
(b) Elzeyadi, I. “Daylighting-Bias and Biophilia: Quantifying the Impacts of Daylight on Occupants Health.” In: Thought and leadership in Green Buildings Research. Greenbuild 2011 Proceedings. Washington, Dc: USGBc Press. 2011.
(c) Heschong, Lisa. Heshong Mahone Group (2003) “Windows and Offices: A Study of Office Worker Performance and the Indoor Environment” – California Energy Commission
(d) Analysis of the performance of students in day lit schools –Nicklas Bailey, 1996
(e) Symposium: The Role of Horticulture in Human Well-being and Social Development. Timber Press, Portland, OR 1992. The article entitled “People and Plants: A Case Study in the Hotel Industry”
(2) - These results have efficiently convinced governmental structures to impose these Biophilic principles in building accreditations; LEED standards in the USA and both the Living Building Challenge (ILFI) and the WELL Standard (International WELL Building Institute) are rating systems that focus on health and wellbeing and incorporate biophillic design.