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Biophilia: What does it really mean to design with nature in mind?

5 minute read

by Alice Vincent

Perhaps you’ve noticed the vines creeping over your Instagram account, or found yourself craving to bring a tree into your lounge. Maybe you’ve observed the rise of sustainable, natural materials beginning to fill every area of the home. We’re in the midst of a biophilic design revolution – and it’s never been more needed.   Biophilia is a broad-ranging concept that reflects humankind’s need to interact with and surround themselves with nature and other living things. It extends into many aspects of our lives, from how we like to spend our free time and the pleasure we can get from walking, running or relaxing outdoors, to the idioms we use (from ‘shrinking violet’ to ‘out of the woods’) and how we see ourselves as custodians of the planet. While not the first person to claim the term, American biologist Edward O. Wilson did dedicate an entire book, Biophilia, to the subject in 1984, in which he outlined what it was to live a biophilic life.