Some of the Best Biophilia Designs to Reconnect With Nature

The falling waters house.

Biophilia design utilizes natural materials, patterns, and phenomena to maintain a connection to nature within a built environment. (Image: Natural Architecture © Wenling01 via Dreamstime)

Biophilia is defined as the innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings. The term is derived from the Greek words for “life” and “love or affection,” making its literal translation “love of life.” This concept is foundational to biophilia design, which utilizes natural materials, patterns, and phenomena to maintain a connection to nature within the built environment. Biophilia is more than just a philosophy — biophilia design has been found to support cognitive function, physical health, and psychological well-being. 

Biophilia was popularized by biologist, researcher, and naturalist E.O Wilson in his book Biophilia. In the book, he puts forth the hypothesis that humans can cultivate a deep affinity to affiliate with all life and living systems; that through deepening our relationships and connections with nature we can foster loving attitudes and behaviors toward all life rather than base our actions on our fears.

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Biophilia design, which utilizes natural materials, patterns, and phenomena to maintain a connection to nature within the built environment.
Biophilia design utilizes natural materials, patterns, and phenomena to maintain a connection to nature within the built environment. (Image: Sean Pavone via Dreamstime)

The Biophilia Hypothesis (BET) describes a psychological orientation to life and vitality. Maybe this is the reason why astronomers are seeking out life outside Earth — they want to know if we Earthlings are truly alone or not. And being biophilic has often inspired people to create majestic art. But staying in the wild is not exactly an option for the city-bred. Hence, opting for a biophilia design will help you reconnect with nature.

Some of the popular biophilia designs to consider

Researchers have proved that bringing the outdoors into the space where you are working increases your creativity and productivity. In order to improve your performance, you can try surrounding yourself with more plants or have your office face the sun for natural light. Here are a few ways to enhance your productivity:

Include more foliage

One of the benefits of having green or colorful plants surround you is that the foliage offers you the distraction to overcome any creative or productive block in your mind. Apart from the scientific aspect of providing more oxygen, plants have been seen to boost a person’s mental health and stamina. When you smell something sweet, you automatically feel rejuvenated. And what better way to activate all your five senses than having a beautiful plant to look at.

Opt for natural materials

When you resort to using stones or wood for your space’s architecture, you are allowing the element’s natural properties to enter your life. Spaces made of stone are often cooler and those made with wood are livelier. Bamboo paneling or using jute sheets as curtains will help you maximize the cooling of your space. This will lessen your electricity bills.

The Takaoka library.
When you resort to using stones or wood for your space’s architecture, you are allowing the element’s natural properties to enter your life. (Image: via yusuhara.kochi.jp )

Allow more natural lighting to enter

Humans are diurnal creatures. We thrive best when the sun is lighting our path. Being holed up in an office often has a negative impact on a person’s physical being as the sun’s light cannot help them absorb vitamin D, which is crucial for bone health. Vitamin D is also known to help a person overcome anxiety and depression. When you opt to have a wider window that allows natural light to enter your space, you will start feeling better.

Declutter your space

One of the best ways to improve ventilation in your space is to declutter. The minimalist lifestyle is known to be more productive. Getting rid of unwanted furniture or items will help you not only have more space to walk around in easily, but it will also allow the natural breeze to flow better.

Benefits of opting for biophilia designs

Apart from increasing productivity, biophilia is often associated with improving a person’s mental health and that, in turn, improves their physical health. When you are feeling alive, you tend to fight for life, and often this fighting tendency and vitality helps a person become their own miracle. Hospitals have emphasized using nature-incorporated architecture to improve a person’s mental health. Having a green plant beside them, patients have often shown signs of faster recovery.

Opting for a biophilia design also helps you curb extra expenditure when it comes to moderating the temperature of the space. Properly planned and well-ventilated spaces often do not require air conditioning units and that also has a positive impact on the ecosystem. Let the outdoors come in and help you shine with a few minor changes to your current design as you incorporate biophilia into your life.

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