A fresh way to look at built environments is emerging.

Rather than building in response to human-created or artificial forces, we should be more adaptable to the natural world. At least, that’s the premise of biophilic design. Rooted in the theory of biophilia, this new approach to design suggests the instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems. It can strongly sway people’s physical and mental health, fitness and well-being, argues Metropolis Magazine:

Since today’s “natural habitat” is largely the built environment, where we now spend 90% of our time, biophilic design seeks to satisfy our innate need to affiliate with nature in modern buildings and cities. Thus, the fundamental goal of biophilic design is to create good habitat for people as biological organisms inhabiting modern structures, landscapes and communities.

To put it in simpler terms, biophilic design focuses on the aspects of the natural world that have contributed to human health and productivity through evolutionary history. It is important to note that this design theory is not focused on a single or isolated occurrence in nature, but rather on an overall setting or habitat.

Curious if you can integrate this nature-minded approach to your building environment? Metropolis Magazine provides a set of five conditions for the effective practice of biophilic design, including:

  • Biophilic design emphasizes human adaptations to the natural world that over evolutionary time have proven instrumental in advancing people’s health, fitness and well-being.
  • Biophilic design depends on repeated and sustained engagement with nature.
  • Biophilic design requires reinforcing and integrating design interventions that connect with the overall setting or space.
  • Biophilic design fosters emotional attachments to settings and places.
  • Biophilic design fosters positive and sustained interactions and relationships among people and the natural environment.

Take a deeper look at the potential impact of biophilic design at Metropolis Magazine.