What is Biophilia or Biophilic Design?

1. Overview of the Topic – Summary:

From Wikipedia: The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defines biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”.

In architecture, biophilic design is a sustainable design strategy that incorporates reconnecting people with the natural environment. It may be seen as a necessary complement to green architecture, which decreases the environmental impact of the built world but does not address human reconnection with the natural world.[11]

2. What is the focus of this Topic?:

From Wikipedia: The term “biophilia” means “love of life or living systems.” It was first used by Erich Fromm to describe a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital.[4] Wilson uses the term in the same sense when he suggests that biophilia describes “the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life.” He proposed the possibility that the deep affiliations humans have with other life forms and nature as a whole are rooted in our biology.

3. Why it’s listed here – What is the relevance to Architectural Medicine?

Biophilia discusses and questions how our Architecture impacts our multi-facted human lives and the importance of nature for our wellness and well being.

As quoted above, the term biophilia is used to, “describe a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital”, which is an important facet of the psychological health discussed in terms of the built environment. While the physical aspect of human health is more common with buildings, such as sick building syndrome and toxicology, there is also the facet of how the built environment impacts psychological health.

From Biophilicdesign.net: Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature. The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development.

4. Common groups and individuals involved with this topic:

Edward Wilson – Author of Biophilia

Stephen R. Kellert – Remembering Stephen Kellert, Who Explored Links Between People and Nature

5. Resources: