“…the crucial first step to survival in all organisms is habitat selection. If you get to the right place, everything else is likely to be easier.”
-Edward O. Wilson
Tools for the designer to use in addressing each goal.
Understanding that each project will have individual and specific requirements, this flexibility allows the designer to meet each goal based on unique programming requirements. The Patterns were developed by Terrapin Bright Green in their paper 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design (1).
(Browning, Ryan, & Clancy, 2014)
The goals are over-arching aspects of an environment that biophilic design strives to address.
Research supports the desirability of these goals. They have developed from research areas as broad as human behavior, biology and psychology. They have evolved out of theories developed by experts such as EO Wilson, Stephen & Rachel Kaplan, Stephen Kellert, Judith Heerwagen, Terrapin Bright Green, and Christopher Alexander.
The GOALS and PATTERNS support each other
The goals tackle the big ideas, they support the "why" behind the solution. In order to understand the best strategies to apply, you first need to understand what you are trying to achieve.
In this way, the use of each individual pattern may not be necessary. Understanding how each pattern supports each goal can help identify which pattern may present the strongest solution.
How do the GOALS and PATTERNS help the designer?
They work to guide the designer into understanding why which concept suits their particular project needs best. This website provides examples of a range of solutions, to help you understand how to apply these concepts, and perhaps give you ideas.
So, then is this a checklist?
This website and will show you concepts and examples - but it is up to the designer to seek the best patternss to solve their particular design problem.
Great! Where do I start?
Read: the goals and patterns below to get an overview.
Read the goals pages: Consider how these might fit into your project. Try to use as many as possible.
Think about your program: Consider your client needs, budget, spatial requirements - what are the priorities? Is the major priority to increase productivity? Overall health? Create a calming atmosphere? Set your programming goals - add them to the biophilic design goals.
Read the patterns pages: Think of these as tools to help you accomplish the goals. Each pattern has the potential of helping you accomplish any goal!
Determine which patterns to use: You DON'T have to use each pattern. In fact, that could be overkill. Just a few patterns implemented well could help you create a stronger biophilic space.
Think of these early and often! Use the goals and patterns as a guiding framework to help make both big and small decisions to increase the well-being impact of the environment.
Other Considerations to Keep in Mind
Consider material health: Remember that we are creating spaces that support the whole human. These strategies tackle many of the components of how to design an environment that does just that. Using materials that could be harmful to occupants does not align with the principal of well-being. Much research is available on off-gassing and toxicity that goes far beyond those outlined in LEED (take a look at LBC and WELL)
Consider the impact on the planet: This is all a balancing act! But each decision can work towards a biodiverse and non-toxic planet. How far is your product coming from? What are their manufacturing processes like? If you don't already ask these questions, start!
Authenticity: Generally speaking, the more integrated and true to the real natural thing, the better, but even the smallest change can be helpful. Does your client already have a beautiful bio-diverse landscape they can walk to and interact with? Wonderful! Are they in an interior of a building with no windows? You can still help! Biophilic design, by its very nature, should be thought about like an ecosystem. Nothing in an ecosystem stands alone, and so the design is stronger and more impactful when it is integrated thoughtfully and with authenticity. Each strategy will show a general guideline to help understand representations that are truest to a nature contact, and also those that are less true to nature, but still beneficial. Client, budget and location will determine the best solution.
Make it your own! Use your intuition! There is no one size fits all approach here! For example: No, it doesn't have to look "earthy". Yes, you can use new technology.