The term “biophilia” can be described as “love of life or living systems.” The general idea is that humans have not only an innate connection to nature but a biological need for connection to nature. The concept originates with Aristotle and over the last several decades has been further developed in many areas related to health and well-being including architecture and the built world.
In architecture, “biophilic design” is the term coined to describe strategies that reconnect people with the natural environment through building and landscape design. One of the most basic elements is that people thrive on connection to daylight. In my opinion biophilic design may be a valuable component of sustainable design but in itself does not necessarily create sustainable design.
The Health & Happiness Petal, Imperative 09 “Biophilic Environment,” calls for the design team to explore incorporating biophilic design into a project.
Chris Gutsche is a Living Building Challenge Ambassador.