Nowadays, we spend over 90% of our time indoors, and it is becoming increasingly evident that architecture has a profound influence on our brains and bodies. The interest in comprehending how the environment affects human well-being is on the rise, with a growing number of new studies on this subject emerging each year. Moreover, architecture firms are increasingly enlisting the expertise of researchers and human experience design consultants to explore and optimize these effects.
Biophilia: The Latest Architecture and News
In today's fast-paced and highly connected urban environment, people are increasingly realizing the vital importance of nature in improving both our physical and emotional health. This awareness directly impacts the quality of the spaces where people reside. Discussions and studies on topics such as neuroarchitecture and biophilia are becoming more prominent in the field of modern architecture and interior design. These discussions prompt us to think critically about the deliberate and mindful selection of design elements that shape our shared living environments.
In this scenario, the use of materials such as wood, whether in residential, commercial, or corporate environments, has shown positive effects on how we feel and experience the spaces by eliciting a connection with the natural environment, reconfiguring the way we perceive our living and working spaces and how we are affected by them. By incorporating wooden elements, we can create places of greater tranquility that allow us to disconnect from the stress and busyness of urban life.
During July, we delved into the Design Process as our monthly topic. Inspired by practices that intersect various uncommon layers in their creations, we talked with architect Guto Requena. When designing, his studio experiments with different digital technologies through a sustainable lens and with a keen eye on social issues, aiming to deliver innovative and emotional experiences. Today, the architect boasts numerous national and international awards, including the ArchDaily Building of the Year and the UNESCO Prix Versailles.
In the interview, Requena shares his journey, highlighting the diversity of his team as a critical innovation point in his firm. He also addresses crucial questions about fostering innovation and creativity with new materials in architecture, among other topics.
Biophilia, or love for life and nature, inspires architects around the world to create spaces that deeply connect with natural elements. These architectural projects seek to reintroduce nature into built environments, resulting in spaces that promote well-being, health, inspiration, and even productivity. In Brazil, the possibilities are even broader, given the country's exuberant climate and the vegetation found in various biomes. In this article, we will explore seven projects from different programs that embrace this concept and allow for a symbiosis between architecture, humans, and nature.
Environments that inspire, promote well-being and stimulate a connection with nature. Biophilic landscaping in education spaces recognizes the importance of this bond for student development, as it benefits well-being, academic performance, and people's health. We have selected eight projects that bring natural elements to the classroom or that place students directly in nature to illustrate the qualities in these spaces.
The tropical climate is famous for its exuberant flora. It's no wonder that architectural projects in the region maintain a constant dialogue between nature and the built environment. Biophilia's benefits to users are not news, after all. However, high temperatures, frequent rains, and high humidity levels present unique challenges for reconciling the connection between the interior and exterior with the construction of houses that are comfortable and efficient over time. In the search for solutions that meet needs and demands, we have selected residential projects that appropriate the context to become unique in this environment.
Biophilic office design is not just a passing trend. It rather represents a seismic shift in how we design and build our office spaces and work environments, with every employer from multi-national giants of the industry to two-person bedroom startups getting on board. But this weighed-down bandwagon of empathetic, wellness-focused workspace still has plenty of room on the back.
The idea of "Biophilia" was defined as "love of life" in ancient Greece. Although the term may seem relatively new, coming across as a trend in the fields of architecture and interior design, the concept of biophilia was introduced by psychologist Erich Fromm for the first time in 1964 and then popularized in the 1980s by biologist Edward O. Wilson, who studied the lack of connection with nature caused by urban life.
The guiding principle is quite simple: connect people with nature to improve their well-being and quality of life. How could architecture do that? By seeking alternatives to integrate nature – either through natural elements or techniques – into its designs.
One plant makes all the difference with its color, texture, movements, and the celebration of its flowering. The green inside the homes offers several benefits. However, besides knowing which species are easier to grow, looking for more effective ways to blend the plants with the room can enhance the spatial experience. That is why we've selected some tips for placing the vases and planters around the house (or not).
Largely driven by rural migration to cities and overall population growth, 68% of people worldwide will live in urban areas by 2050. By doing so, many will benefit from greater access to basic services, proximity to public transportation, and better education and employment opportunities. But the pursuit of living urbanized lives also leads to isolation from the outdoors –be it a forest, a meadow or the mountains– that can negatively impact our physical and mental health. Exposure to nature has long been proven to reduce stress levels, boost mood, foster productivity and, above all, enhance well-being. So, considering we typically spend around 93% of our time indoors (and that the pandemic has magnified that statistic), now more than ever we find ourselves seeking a connection with the outdoors and all its inherent benefits. Architects thus face the important challenge of bringing nature in, which is precisely where biophilic design comes into play.