biophilic design guide

what is biophilic design?

Biophilic design is a design approach that bridges design, nature and wellbeing. Translating the essence of nature into design solutions, it creates spaces that actively support health and wellbeing, while restoring a balanced relationship with the natural world around us.
 

how does biophilic design work?

The theory behind biophilic design has been described with a framework of 14 patterns (first conceptualized by Terrapin Bright Green) aimed at facilitating biophilic design applications. Patterns are organized in 3 categories:

  • nature in the space: incorporating natural elements in design
  • natural analogues: using nature-inspired shapes, patterns, colours and textures
  • nature of the space: reproducing the layout of natural environments

 
click on each pattern to read a dedicated article from the blog

1. VISUAL CONNECTION WITH NATURE

View of natural elements from within a space.

2. NON-VISUAL CONNECTION WITH NATURE

Interactions with nature through other senses: sound, touch, smell and taste.

3. NON-RHYTHMIC SENSORY STIMULI

Unpredictable and non-repetitive movements recalling those happening in nature (birds chirping, leaves moving in a breeze...)

4. THERMAL & AIRFLOW VARIABILITY

Variability in air temperature and flow, changes in relative humidity and varying surface temperatures.

5. PRESENCE OF WATER

Use of water and water mimicking solutions as design features.

6. DYNAMIC & DIFFUSE LIGHT

Varying lighting intensities and light changes over time evoking the natural cycle of day and night.

7. CONNECTION WITH NATURAL SYSTEMS

Awareness of seasonal and temporal changes stimulated by design solutions.

8. BIOMORPHIC FORMS & PATTERNS

Nature-inspired textures, shapes and patterns.

9. MATERIAL CONNECTION WITH NATURE

Natural materials and elements that reflect the local environment in terms of ecology or geology.

10. COMPLEXITY & ORDER

Rich sensory features recalling natural spatial hierarchies (otherwise called fractal patterns).

11. PROSPECT

Uninterrupted views over a distance creating feelings of calm and safety.

12. REFUGE

Sense of protection from movements and activities happening in the surroundings.

13. MYSTERY

Partially obscured views stimulating curiosity about the unknown.

14. RISK/PERIL

Balanced combination of a perceived sense of risk and the rational knowledge of safety.

 
 

biophilic design resources

 

the book

A biophilic year: 365 thoughts on the essence and practice of biophilic design

What is biophilic design? And why does it matter so much now?
Through 365 aphorisms, the book explores the connections of biophilic thinking with sustainability, interior design and architecture, urban planning, and the way in which we see the world as a whole.
 
order your copy →
 

A biophilic year: preview of some pages.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>

 

downloadable ebook

Biophilic design guide: an illustrated journey across the principles of biophilic design

This short ebook retraces the blog column Biophilic Moodboards, which explores the principles of biophilic design one by one.
 
download it (free) (opened in a new window/tab)
 

Biophilic Design Guide: preview of some pages.<span class="sr-only"> (opened in a new window/tab)</span>