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The Biophilic Design

Connecting People and Nature
through the Built Environment

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"Biophilia," which means "love of life," recognizes that, like all other forms of life on this planet, humans are part of a larger ecosystem. This theory posits that humans have evolved in response to our natural surroundings and, like any other animal, thrive in environments that nurture us the most.

Biophilic Design:

Biophilic design serves as a framework for deepening the connection between humans and nature within the built environment. Through this approach, we consciously integrate elements that recognize our inherent link to the natural world, enabling us to design environments that foster our well-being. The goal is to enhance performance, healing, satisfaction, productivity, and reduce stress by aligning our built environment with this fundamental connection.


  We are part of a vast ecosystem

 We connect to nature for human well-

 being while supporting ecological health

Our innate connection to nature persists despite our increasingly urban environments

  We respond to our surroundings and

  thrive in those that most nurture us

Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen

Biophilic Design Benefits



The qualities of a space we seek have been found through much of our architectural history. We saw it and felt it in the nature surrounding us, and we inherently knew how to build this way.  We've all been in those spaces -  we connect to them in a special way and we struggle to define the qualities that make us love them.  


We should be able to work, learn, and heal in places that we are drawn to, that support the human system, and that have these special qualities.

Biophilia is informed by diverse fields such as evolutionary biology, psychology, sociology, environment and behavior, architecture, and history.  


There is a vast array of multi-disciplinary research looking at what supports humans best.  Biophilia tries to connect with where we came from - who we are as a species - and determine the habitats that best support us.

Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen

Photo Credit: Nicole Craanen

“Biophilic design is the deliberate attempt to translate an understanding of the inherent human affinity to affiliate with natural systems and processes-known as biophilia.”    

- Stephen Kellert


Biophilic Design Supports


  • Biophilic Design / Forest Therapy Workshop facilitation

  • Group or individual consultations

  • Architectural project consulting

  • Consulting for product manufacturers



Nicole is a seasoned international public speaker. She is available for speaking engagements related to biophilic design education, forest therapy, and podcast interviews.


Guided Forest Therapy Walks

Experience for yourself  how this practice can bring spaciousness to your life, as well as an opportunity to slow down, unplug, and spend intentional time with nature.

There is a slow, but sure, movement for biophilic design inclusion in new building standards. However, current models focus most heavily on the "planet" and "profit" sectors of the 3 P's of the Sustainability Model ("planet", "profit", "people").  In this approach, there is a commitment to the whole system.  


Biophilic design works most specifically to address the "people" portion of sustainability.  An argument can be made, however, that by promoting a connection to nature, this framework can indeed affect our attention to environmental concerns as well as increasing economic performance through an increase in productivity, creativity and reduction of stress. 

Well-Being encompasses both mental and physical health, which includes self-perceived health, longevity, healthy behaviors, mental and physical illness, social connectedness, productivity, and factors in the physical and social environment.  


Biophilic design can improve conditions of the environment that cause stress, widely known to affect the body through both physiological and psychological means.  Used in conjunction with other wellness initiatives such as health & wellness programs, ergonomics, indoor air quality and use of non-toxic materials, the qualities of an interior environment and its design can greatly affect all systems of the human body.



the sustainable building & wellness movements, two movements that have been changing how people interact with the built environment


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