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Which are the principles and the benefits of of the Biophilic design?

by Lara Del Chiaro

"Biophilic design seeks to create good habitat for people as a biological organism in the modern built environment that advances people’s health, fitness and wellbeing". (the practice of Biophilic design, S.R. Kellert, E.F. Calabrese)

According to Kellert, the successful application of Biophilic design necessitates consistently adhering to certain basic principles, which include: repeated and sustained engagement with nature; encouraging emotional attachment to particular settings and places; mutual reinforcing, interconnected and integrated architectural solutions.

He identifies three kinds of experience of nature which represent the basic categories of the Biophilic design framework.

These include the direct experience of nature, the indirect experience of nature, and the experience of space and place.

example of direct experience of nature in Biophilia design.

Biophilia, which literally means “love of life,” is an affinity for living things and the natural world.

pictures: Pinterest

Artist: Janaina Mello Landini

Exhibition: "The Sublime Nature of Being" at Dubai ICD Brookfield place

The above photos are examples of the indirect experience of nature through artworks, the artist here is recreating the trama of tree branching using cotton ropes.

"It wishes to create a welcoming world serenely combining light and shadow, reflection and calm."

Louvre Abu Dhabi,

Atelier Jean Nouvel,

An example of the experience of space and place is the Louvre Dome in Abu Dhabi by Architect Jean Nouvel, which reflects at least 2 of the attributes defined by Keller's principles: naturalistic shape plus forms and evoking nature.

Even though the design of the dome doesn't occur in nature, it reflects the principles and characteristics of the natural world. In fact the way light and wind came through the dome and the privileged position on the edge of the water enhance the link with the Nature and create an immersive Biophilic experience.

Beijing Easyhome Vertical Forest Real Estate Co, Stefano Boeri Architetti

Huanggang, Hubei, Cina

As stated by Stefano Boeri Architetti in the new book the Green Obsession: it is necessary to reveal the processes and the complexity involved in the search for a new type of urban planning, raising questions and opening new scenarios on the relationship between the human species and living nature.

Trees and plants went for being decorative objects that embellish our architecture to thinking, autonomous and noble subjects, endowed with their unmistakable individuality as well as their own peculiar life trajectory.

The main idea of the book is creating an architecture of biodiversity, which supports a variety of living species, not just the human one. The principle of the Architecture is reversed: thinking about the urban world from the point of view of the trees and the rest of nature beings.

We are also obsessed with designing Forest Cities: cities where plants and nature have no less of a presence than humans, and where both create a habitat where mineral surfaces are reduced to the minimum amount needed for life.

Green Obsession proposes an alternative path to take, a paradigm shift to give voice to the ecological transition. It is essential to act together as members of the global community with a shared strategy: we need to conceive cities as green catalysts, to open the era of a new alliance between nature and cities.

Wonderwoods, Stefano Boeri Architetti

Example of vertical forest Project

So, which is the role of Architects and Designers in regard to this philosophy ..?

From Urban to residential and commercial design the imperative is evoking a sensory experience of nature: through light, sound, smell, or feel.

But, in order to deeply form a more conscious and long term bond between humans and nature,

the words that we, as designers, need to focus more on are interconnection, amalgamation, integration, biodiversity.

The new challenge is not anymore a mere representation of nature but it is the renaissance through the design of the ancestral link between humans and nature, the activation of new ecosystems where one support the other and vice-versa in mutual sustenance, which ultimately results in improving the environment and mainly our health and lifestyle.



The Practice of Biophilic design, Stephen R. Kellert; Elizabeth F. Calabrese

Green Obsession, Trees Towards Cities, Humans Towards Forests, Stefano Boeri Architetti


Pinterest predicts 2022

Stefano Boeri Architetti website

Jean Nouvel website

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