Resilience in the Environment – Designing Habitats for Humans
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 | 12:00 PM CST
Director of Projects
Terrapin Bright Green
Biophilic architecture connects people and nature, resulting in healthy communities and healthy eco-systems. For example:
- A simple window in a hospital room has been proven to reduce hospital stays, and the amount of pain medication a patient needs compared to a room without a view.
- Test scores have been shown to increase dramatically when kids have natural light in the classroom.
- A study in the City of Portland, Oregon shows that there is a significant reduction in violent crimes in neighborhoods as the tree size and density increases.
Yet, our buildings are not shaped with nature in sight—literally, 45% of global office workers can not see a window from their desk. This presentation will explore how we got here. From how the incorporation of electricity relegated cooling breezes and natural heat to the backseat of design, to how our buildings became commodities, rather than a shelter that expressed unique cultures and climates. Why have we become inside creatures? Why have we passively accepted buildings that have separated us from nature?
To answer this question—and to create a world full of buildings that are ‘habitats for humans’— we need to turn to a concept of biophilic design, which translates literally to love of life. Biophilic design takes biophilia and applies it to the built environment, while specifically looking at the relationship between people and nature in our buildings and cities. When utilized, biophilic design creates spaces that are healthier and happier for people to be in.
At the International Living Future Institute, biophilic design is a core strategy for the flagship challenge program, the Living Building Challenge. Institute is dedicated to creating a world full of living buildings and living communities, understanding that first, there must be fundamental shift to the approach that people have toward nature and restore the relationship between the two.
Our buildings can be designed with that in mind. Designed to create spaces inspired by natural forms, spaces where we can feel the textures change under our feet, hear the sounds carried on the wind outside, where we can see the clouds move in the sky and smell the rain.
In this presentation, you will hear case studies of how biophilic design is changing schools, hospitals, and offices around the world, and see how it can re-establish a connection between people and land, with each other and all other living species.