Biophilic Workshop Report: CitiesAlive in Seattle 2017

Sourced from the Living Architecture Monitor

A Biophilic Design Workshop was offered during the CitiesAlive Conference in Seattle last September led by Bill Browning of Terrapin Bright Green and myself.  The workshop was an excellent way to explore the essence of bringing cities to life where humans and nature co-exist symbiotically. The term biophilia means love of that which is living and addresses our evolutionary need to connect with nature, and natural systems and processes in order to flourish as a species.

Although the term biophilia is relatively new, we have lived biophilically much of our existence as homo sapiens.  Only recently, with the mass production of goods and services, modern electricity and other technology have we disconnected from nature in the built environment. This disconnect is causing both mental and physical health related issues in humans while promoting our alienation and the subsequent degradation of the natural environment - we don’t typically care for things we don’t experience.

The workshop began with Bill Browning explaining some of the scientific research which shows that being in and around natural settings both directly and indirectly promotes our mental and physical wellbeing. Biophilic environments can help reduce stress, and improve our mood, cognition, productivity and creativity. Terrapin has published several monographs outlining the latest research. The 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design and The Economics of Biophilia are two of several publications and papers by Terrapin.

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