Biophilic Design: For The Love Of Living Systems

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Biophilic design is not a passing trend but a practice that has become intrinsically more important in design as a whole. We have an intuitive and deeply ingrained attraction to nature, and an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and various other forms of life.

Humans have a biological need to connect to the natural world

Biophilic design is the lesser-know cousin of green design and was coined in 1984 by Harvard biologist, Edward O. Wilson. It is concerned with more with speaking to our emotions, our ancient genetic predilections, and fundamental need for interaction with a natural world than it is with the green movement which has a focus on protecting the earth’s material resources. The basis of of biophilic design incorporates real or stimulated natural elements with the aim being to promote well-being.

Elle Deco SA
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The principles behind this unique design merge with the fabricated environment, incorporating nature in an extensive and fundamental way. If we were to imagine a place where you felt tranquil, 90% of us would envision a natural setting. It is quintessential of our craving for nature on a daily basis as we are constantly surrounded by concrete jungles and unnatural forms and sounds. Society is exponentially more urban and digital than ever before and that has led to our loss of connection to nature.

Biophilic design is not just another design style, it is imperative and holds more weight than this. Our physical and mental well-being relies on the constant interaction with the natural environment. It affects our personal well-being and productivity and access to nature can alleviate that.

ELLE Deco SA
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Biophilic design is exciting as it compliments and goes beyond sustainability and truly embraces our connection to nature and the ecological design aspects.

ELLE Deco SA
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Liked This?

Then you may want to read Green Is The New Everything and Green Your Wall By Going Vertical

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UnknownDECO’s intern, Angelique views interiors not only as a workable space, but as a potential artwork that one can live and breathe in. For as long as she can remember she has always had an intense passion for interior design, and now studying at Design Time School of Interior Design, she is slowly pursuing her dream. Apart from design she loves the outdoors, animals and a good cup of coffee, and has a philosophical curiosity for the universe.


The Africa Issue is a celebration of the future of design in Africa and its potential to drive change. We explore the concept of ‘Africaness’, what this means for our aesthetic. We also  dream big with bedroom inspiration and take you on a tour of homes that truly embrace the spirit of the continent. Pick up your copy today and tell us what you think on Twitter @Elle_Deco using #AfricaIssue.

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