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Biophilic Design: The Latest Architecture and News

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

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.

Custom Surface Solutions for Community-Inspired Architectural Design

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Customization, within the context of interior architectural design, is a resurfacing topic among cross-disciplined design firms focused on interior architecture. Since the reemergence of the Localism trend, individuals and organizations increasingly seek one-of-a-kind experiences, objects, and spaces that can help deepen their connections to their communities.

3 Trends Inspiring New Architectural Surfaces

World leading engineered surfaces manufacturer shares three trends influencing next-generation decorative surfaces

For years, interior surface designers have drawn inspiration from their environments in order to create delightful and innovative engineered surfacing materials specified in architectural spaces. From familiar and traditional to futuristic and contemporary, design inspiration can be found all around structures, elements, and styles that surround us every day.

How to Judge a Building: Does it Make you Feel More, Or Less Alive?

This extract was originally published on Common Edge as "The Legacy of Christopher Alexander: Criteria for an Intelligent Architecture."

In his monumental four-volume book, The Nature of Order, Christopher Alexander talks about an intelligent architecture, responsive to human needs and sensibilities through adaptation to existing buildings and nature. This is a new way of viewing the world—a way of connecting to it, and to ourselves—yet it is very much the same as the most ancient ways of connecting.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures Wins Public Vote for Millennial Vertical Forest Competition

For the "Imagine Angers" international design competition, Vincent Callebaut Architectures worked in collaboration with Bouygues Immobilier group to submit a proposal for the French city at the intersection of social and technological innovation, with a focus on ecology and hospitality. Named Arboricole, meaning “tree” and “cultivation,” this live-work-play environment gives back as much to the environment as it does its users. Although WY-TO prevailed in the competition, the Callebaut scheme succeeded in winning the public vote.

Courtesy of Vincent Callebaut ArchitecturesCourtesy of Vincent Callebaut ArchitecturesCourtesy of Vincent Callebaut ArchitecturesCourtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures+ 26

Baubotanik: The Botanically Inspired Design System that Creates Living Buildings

Timber buildings are regularly praised for their sustainability, as carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere by the trees remains locked in the structure of the building. But what if you could go one better, to design buildings that not only lock in carbon, but actively absorb carbon dioxide to strengthen their structure? In this article, originally published by the International Federation of Landscape Architects as "Baubotanik: Botanically Inspired Biodesign," Ansel Oommen explores the theory and techniques of Baubotanik, a system of building with live trees that attempts to do just that.

Trees are the tall, quiet guardians of our human narrative. They spend their entire lives breathing for the planet, supporting vast ecosystems, all while providing key services in the form of food, shelter, and medicine. Their resilient boughs lift both the sky and our spirits. Their moss-aged grandeur stands testament to the shifting times, so much so, that to imagine a world without trees is to imagine a world without life.

To move forward then, mankind must not only coexist with nature, but also be its active benefactor. In Germany, this alliance is found through Baubotanik, or Living Plant Constructions. Coined by architect, Dr. Ferdinand Ludwig, the practice was inspired by the ancient art of tree shaping.

Willow tower after completion. Image © Ferdinand LudwigConnection detail 2012. Image © Ferdinand LudwigTest field with inosculations. Image © foto chira moroPlane cube: view from south-west directly after completion. Image © Ludwig.Schönle+ 8