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, biophilic design creates spaces that actively support health and wellbeing while restoring a balanced relationship between people and the natural world.
how does biophilic design work?
The theory behind biophilic design has been described with a series of principles (called patterns) aimed at facilitating biophilic design applications. There exist several biophilic design frameworks and what follows is based upon the 14 patterns framework conceptualized by Terrapin Bright Green.
In the 14 patterns framework, 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 below to read a dedicated article from the blog ↓
for a complete overview of biophilic design principles, check out the publication Applying Biophilic Design
nature in the space
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 and 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 and 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 and 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 and order
rich sensory features recalling natural spatial hierarchies (otherwise called fractal patterns).
nature of the space
uninterrupted views over a distance creating feelings of calm and safety.
sense of protection from movements and activities happening in the surroundings.
partially obscured views stimulating curiosity about the unknown.
balanced combination of a perceived sense of risk and the rational knowledge of safety.