If a person were to imagine a setting of complete relaxation, odds are the first image that comes to mind is a place surrounded by nature, be it a forest, the mountains, the sea, or a meadow. Rarely does one imagine an office or a shopping mall as a source of comfort and relaxation. Still, the majority of people spend almost 80-90 % of their time indoors, going back and forth from their houses to their workplaces. Architects and designers are now searching for design solutions that will resonate well into the future, turning to 'biophilia' as an important source of inspiration that promotes well-being, health, and emotional comfort. What is biophilia? Since the earliest civilizations, nature served as humans’ natural habitat, providing shelter, food, and remedies. Fast forward to modern days, the industrial and technological revolutions took over, reshaping the way humans interact with nature. The term ‘biophilia’ translates to ‘the love of living things’ in ancient Greek (philia = the love of / inclination towards). Although the term seems relatively new and is gradually trending in the fields of architecture and interior design, biophilia was first used by psychologist Erich Fromm in 1964, then popularized by biologist Edward O Wilson in the 1980’s, when he detected how urbanization is leading to a disconnection with nature.
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