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Biophilia and Love of Life

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Human-nature interaction is a topic that summarizes the interdependence between humans and their natural environment, which emerged with the biological existence of human beings, and the deep closeness that humans experience with life and life-like processes in nature (Wilson 1984). Biologist Edward O. Wilson, in his biophilia hypothesis, which he defines as "the love of life", predicts that humans "still respond strongly to the shapes, processes and patterns of nature" (Wilson 1984).



In other words, biophilia can be defined as the tendency of people's physical, mental health and well-being to depend on nature (Wilson 1986, Kellert and Wilson 1993, Kellert 1997, 2012). It explains the basis of taking natural spaces as a reference while creating a healthy and peaceful space in man-made environments. Based on neuroscience, environmental psychology and endocrinology, biophilic design offers suggestions applicable to all man-made environments, from elements of nature to interiors, architecture and urbanism. Biophilic design can reduce stress, increase creativity and clarity of thought, improve our health and accelerate healing; These qualities are becoming more important than ever as the world population continues to urbanize. The goal of biophilic design is to create spaces filled with positive emotional experiences (pleasure, satisfaction, interest, admiration and curiosity). These experiences help develop the sense of attachment to the place and make the place meaningful. Depending on this positive interaction between human and space, spaces that feel good and fit can be created with the biophilic design approach.


As Therapinterior, we design with an understanding that appeals to the five senses and focuses not only on trends, but also on feelings, by considering the principles of biophilic design application in our projects. Click for detailed information.



How to use Biophilic design in your home

Let's examine the basic steps to create a biophilic space together. Not every space can be designed to include all principles, but even a few Biophilic design elements will be enough to enhance the well-being of an interior.



  • Landscape and Orientation

Creating a natural landscape in the space with elements of nature such as a window with a garden or sea view, potted plants, courtyard gardens, green walls and green roofs will strengthen the biophilic effect of the space. The healing effect of the landscape can be utilized by designing it to perceive the natural landscape in the indoor settlement.

  • Natural Ventilation

The clean and fresh air of a natural place is one of the most important factors that affect our mood, focus and physical body. It is often impossible to feel the air-conditioning offered by the natural space in an artificial environment. For this, whether there is a ventilation system in your place or not, ventilate the place as often as you can, Make sure to check the humidity levels.

  • Add natural light to the space

Sunlight has numerous benefits for the body. Use the natural light in your home in the most efficient way by getting rid of any furniture, blinds, curtains or anything that prevents sunlight from entering the space. You might like this also: The miracle of light

  • Bring nature inside

While advocating the benefits of human-nature interaction, it is not without mentioning the importance of using plants. Also, according to Chromotherapy, Green is one of the most relaxing colors that restores your energy and helps clear your mind. Do not hesitate to place plants that will accompany your dominant design style according to the appropriate temperature and climate.

  • Use natural materials

You can increase the natural effect in your space by using natural materials such as bamboo, cork, recycled wood, stone and rattan as much as possible. Biophilic design has a very important role in sustainability. In addition, you can benefit from environmentally friendly and sustainable materials such as organic cotton, Jute, Felt, sheep's wool, recycled steel, plant-based foam.

  • The therapeutic effect of water

The use of water as a biophilic design element; developed from research into the health and well-being benefits associated with access to water, including stress, lower heart rate and blood pressure, a sense of well-being, positive emotional response, improved concentration and restoration of perception and memory. What is generally emphasized in research is that a clean water experience has a very positive effect on physical and mental health (Ryan 2016). In the teachings of feng shui, Zen, and Vastu Shastra, the balance of the elements is essential for a space to reflect the right energy. To benefit from this wonderful energy of water, you can include a decorative water element, or at least turn on meditative music with the sound of water occasionally.

  • Powerful energy of fire

While the experience of fire can be a source of both comfort and anxiety, it draws attention and provides a kind of meditation. It contributes to socialization by gathering people around it (Kellert 2005) In the interior, mostly decorative fireplaces are used. Even using it in this way will be enough to feel the sight, sound and smell of fire.

  • Forms inspired by nature

The forms of nature are not straight lines or straight. Patterns and forms are consistently identified as sources of inspiration for nature and the key to understanding organic design for design in the built environment. Today's man, who has evolved in an organic world for centuries; it feels wild in angular structures. The best example of this is that a table with a hard corner affects people's emotions negatively compared to a table with rounded corners. (Day 2004).

  • Don't be afraid of colors reflecting nature

Nature offers extremely rich and magnificent colors with a different theme every season. All the colors we encounter in nature directly affect our mood. Just like the positive effect of natural forms, you can create a biophilic space by adding natural tones to the space.


Resources:

  1. Wilson, E. O. (1984). Biophilia. Massachusetts.

  2. Kellert, S. R. (1993). The biological basis for human values of nature. The biophilia hypothesis.

  3. Kellert, S., .(2005). Building for Life. Washington: Island Press.

  4. Kellert, S. R., Heerwagen, J., & Mador, M. (2011). Biophilic design: the theory, science and practice of bringing buildings to life. John Wiley & Sons.

  5. Ryan, C.,2016, Water for Wellbeing: Perspectives on Design Challenges [online], Terrapin, https://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/blog/2016/06/water-wellbeing/ [14 Aralık 2018].



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