Text: Ioannis Ladopoulos

14. Aug 2015

A natural choice

The word “biophilia” is derived from the Ancient Greek words βίος (“life”) and φῐλίᾱ (“love, friendship”) and can therefore be loosely translated as the “love of life”. When we do not feel well we seek nature to help us relax or to invigorate our minds and bodies. Nature has always been our sanctuary, and we are continually witness to the many demonstrations of its magnitude and glory.

The Biophilia hypothesis
Thirty years ago, back in 1984, in his book entitled “Biophilia” Wilson defined his Biophilia hypothesis as “an innate human tendency to focus on life and life-like processes”. [1] This is proven throughout the history of mankind given the elaborate and grandiose gardens which were part of ancient Egyptian, Persian and Chinese housing complexes. In the latter two centuries, parks and nature reserves have been linked to psychological wellbeing and have proven to reduce stress from modern living while enhancing the Holy Grail of our modern lifestyles: the “Quality of Life”. People flock to parks, travel for hours even just to experience a walk along the sea front, and owning expensive residences on the coast or near parkland is becoming a status symbol. Designing with nature and integrating so-called Biophilic Design is becoming increasingly important for modern buildings, and is appreciated by all stakeholders and users. [2]

Designing with biophilia in mind
When architects and designers create interiors with biophilia as a design focus, the following needs to be considered: Nature in the space – This could mean the incorporation of plants or water into the building settings – from potted plants to water features, or inner courtyard gardens to views of nature from inside the building. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 98

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