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Biophilia: The Latest Architecture and News

5 Regenerative Strategies to Activate the Dead Edges in our Cities Post-Pandemic

As the city continues to evolve and transform, dead edges in the cityscape begin to emerge, subsequently reducing the level of activity in our built environment. These 'dead edges' refer to the areas that lack active engagement, they remain empty and deprived of people, since they no longer present themselves as useful or appealing. As the Covid-19 pandemic draws to an ultimate close, the first issue we may face post-pandemic is to revive our urban environment. A kiss of life into a tired and outdated cityscape...

The focal element in creating an active and healthy urban environment is by increasing vitality through placemaking. Creating diverse and interesting places to reside, thrive, and work. Here are five regenerative strategies that animate the cityscape and ultimately produce resilient, attractive, and flexible environments.

WeWork Weihai Lu Offices / Linehouse. Image © Jonathon Leijonhufvud10 Charles Apartment Building / COOKFOX Architects. Image © Frank OudemanTOD Project Shenzhen Biophilic design / Ronald Lu & Partners . Image Courtesy of Ronald Lu & PartnersNeighbourhood Next 15-Minute City / Gehl Architects . Image Courtesy of 3XN+ 18

The Biophilic Response to Wood: Can it Promote the Wellbeing of Building Occupants?

Although the term may seem recent, the concept of biophilia has been used for decades in architecture and design. The guiding principle is quite simple: connect people inside with nature to promote their well-being and quality of life. With all the ongoing design trends that have consolidated as a result, the demand has focused on organic materials that emulate outdoor environments. Among all the options, wood is one of the most popular materials to bring nature indoors, not only because of its functionality, but also due to its multiple physiological and psychological benefits.

Ronald Lu & Partners' Competition Winning Design Re-imagines the Workplace

Ronald Lu &Partners revealed their new workplace concept, "Treehouse", an "eco-conscious integrated system" featuring biophilic elements, which capitalizes on wellness and aims to reconnect users with nature. The project is a response to contemporary workplace needs, as well as to current climate challenges, promoting carbon-positivity and net-zero operations through a blend of design, technology and smart management.

10 Interior Design Trends of 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, we look back at how this year introduced new normals and raised questions about what the future of the built environment could look like. In retrospect, not much has changed in regards to where people are spending most of their time. Following constant changes in commuting restrictions and the continuation of the pandemic, people acknowledged that most of their time will be spent indoors, so they adapted their living and working spaces accordingly.

These sudden lifestyle changes forced people to become well aware of the fact that the space they inhabit has great influence on their physical and mental wellbeing, so they began opting for features that promote sensitivity, calmness, optimism, and playfulness, emotions that counter the inconsistent and troublesome events taking place in the outside world and offer an implied sense of escapism. 

© Martina Gemmola© Denilson Machado – MCA Estúdio© Mirko Zander© Mikael Lundblad+ 58

5 Design Strategies to Improve Mental Health in Shared Workspaces

Burnout syndrome is an occupational phenomenon resulting from chronic workplace stress and emotional tension and has been affecting more and more professionals every day. It is directly associated with each person's daily work life, not only with the operational aspects of the job but also the physical environment.

We spend on average 1/3 of our day in workspaces, so it's no wonder they considerably affect our mental health. Following a period of intense home office activity during the year 2020, now people are returning to collaborative workplaces. These spaces offer a great alternative to escape the domestic environment and create separate places for each function of our lives, a much-needed change after a year of isolation.

Nest / Beza Projekt. © Jacek KołodziejskiThe Coven Co-working Space for Women / Studio BV. © Corey Gaffer PhotographyCo-working utopic_US Conde de Casal / Izaskun Chinchilla. © Imagen subliminalImpact Hub Berlin Office Interiors / LXSY Architekten. © Anne Deppe+ 25

Natural Tapestry: Indoor Vertical Gardens in Different Project Types

Humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature, regardless of the physical or geographical conditions in which we find ourselves. As we become increasingly detached from the wilderness, we develop means and strategies to bring nature back into our daily lives, even if only for a few moments.

There are many ways of domesticating nature, as seen throughout the history of mankind, through fascinating structures that challenge technical limitations, such as vertical indoor gardens.

Veranda House / sigit.kusumawijaya © M. Ifran NurdinLushe Beauty Salon / Roby Macedo arquitetura e design. © Jesus PerezDS House / Studio Arthur Casas © Ricardo LabougleKTS Apartment / Triplex Arquitetura © Ricardo Bassetti+ 20

UNStudio Transforms JetBrains Office into a Green and Immersive Campus

After winning an international competition at the end of 2019, UNStudio has designed the new office of international software development company JetBrains in Saint Petersburg, promoting interaction and sustainability through its architecture, and focusing on the project's three keywords: Connective, Comfortable, and Versatile. UNStudio further developed the design in 2020 and construction is expected to start later this year.

Courtesy of ZOA StudioCourtesy of ZOA StudioCourtesy of ZOA StudioCourtesy of ZOA Studio+ 18

Kengo Kuma to Design Milan's Biophilic Office of the Future

Construction has begun on “Welcome, feeling at work”, a biophilic office of the future in Milan, Italy. Designed by Kengo Kuma & Associates and commissioned by Europa Risorse, this venture seeks to create a workspace centered on employee health and wellbeing, integrated within its local environment. Imagined to be one of the most sustainable office development to date, the project is scheduled for 2024.

Courtesy of Kengo Kuma and AssociatesCourtesy of Kengo Kuma and AssociatesCourtesy of Kengo Kuma and AssociatesCourtesy of Kengo Kuma and Associates+ 12

Color Beyond Aesthetics: The Psychology of Green in Interior Spaces

How many changes have you done to your interior space during this past year? Whether it was a change of furniture layout, repainting the walls, adding more light fixtures or perhaps even removing them, after spending so much time in one place, the space you were once used to didn’t make sense anymore. We could blame the overall situation for how we’ve been feeling lately, but as a matter of fact, the interior environment plays a huge role in how we feel or behave as well. However, if you were wondering why some neighbors seem much more undisturbed and serene even in the midst of a pandemic, it could be because the interior is greener on the other side.

Green 26 / Anonym. Image © Chaovarith PoonpholCultural Activity of Beijing Guang'anmennei Community / MAT Office. Image © Kangshuo TangOttoman | Footstool Outdoor Complete Item by Ligne Roset on Architonic. Image Courtesy of Ligne RosetArtwork | Deco_01 by FLORIM on Architonic. Image Courtesy of FLORIM+ 26

NBBJ Designs Amazon's Nature-Infused Second Headquarters in Virginia

Amazon has just revealed the proposed design for its second headquarters, in Arlington, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C. Designed by NBBJ, the project “creates an environment that prioritizes healthy work, celebrates nature and engages the community across multiple scales.” Encompassing 2.8 million square feet of offices, public gathering areas and street-front retail, the intervention aims to create a healthier workforce and community.

Courtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJCourtesy of NBBJ+ 6

Bringing the Outdoors Inside: The Benefits of Biophilia in Architecture and Interior Spaces

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.

Xylem Pavilion / Kere Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan© Favaro Jr.Botanica House / Guz Architects. Image © Patrick Bingham-HallXylem Pavilion / Kere Architecture. Image © Iwan Baan+ 15

The Incredible Architecture of Bees

Bees are perhaps the insects that most arouse our fascination and curiosity. With the exception of Antarctica, they are found on all continents, in all habitats that contain insect-pollinated flowering plants. Representations of humans collecting honey from wild bees date back to 15,000 years ago, and pots of honey have even been found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs like Tutankhamen. Although we generally have a fixed idea about what cartoon bees look like, there are thousands of species around the world, with different sizes, colors and behaviors. There are even several examples of solitary bees, many without stingers, and even some species that survive by plundering other weaker colonies. But something that has consistently impressed researchers is the organization of their hives, which are truly highly populated cities with an efficiency to make any urban planner envious.

Biophilia: Bringing Nature into Interior Design

Interior design begins with human experience. Considering the physical, mental, and emotional needs of people, interior designers use human-centered approaches to address how we live today. Creating novel approaches to promoting health, safety, and welfare, contemporary interiors are increasingly inspired by biophilia as a holistic approach to design.

© Scott Burrows Photography© Iwan BaanCourtesy of COOKFOX Architects© Rasmus Hjortshoj+ 8

Biophilic Design in Prisons

Guymer Bailey Melbourne Studio © Guymer Bailey Architects
Guymer Bailey Melbourne Studio © Guymer Bailey Architects

Imagine that you are in a cubicle located in the middle of the office floor plate.  Your office has a glazed front, but you are looking into another open office. You have no real window or view to the outside, so you can't tell if it's raining outside or sunny.  If you are lucky, and you do have a window, it's fixed, and you are looking into an office in the neighbouring building that is five metres away.

The fluorescent lighting that you sit under for eight hours has thrown out your body's natural circadian rhythm. The ventilation is alright, but you start to feel droopy at around 3pm because the carbon dioxide levels in your shoebox have risen. It might even feel a bit stuffy, regardless of the door being open or closed. As you don't have an operable window, you have been breathing in recycled air all day. When you get outside and take a breath, you will instantly notice that the air outside is fresh.

Now multiply that by five days a week, 48 weeks a year. Maybe you will get a pot plant in a few weeks.