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What Are Biophilic Design Basic Elements

Updated: Jun 3, 2022

What are Biophilic Design Basic Elements

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If I had to put it in one sentence - Biophilic design means connecting people with nature through the living and work environment and in that way increase overall human wellbeing. Not every contact with nature is beneficial to our health and wellbeing. If you would like to learn more in-depth what contact with nature is part of Biophilic Design, take a look at this post.

When it comes to the practice of Biophilic Design, there are three basic elements and twenty-five associated attributes. In this article, you will learn what the three elements are and how human fundamentally experience nature.

Biophilic Design Elements

1. The direct experience of nature.

This type of experience involves actual physical contact with natural features like air, water, light, fire, plants, weather, animals, landscapes and the views of the outdoors. Experiencing these features in the built environment is undoubtedly beneficial to our health, productivity and wellbeing. It can be incorporated into our homes with things like plants, trees, fountain, aquarium, maximising natural light, mimicking natural shades, etc. However, this is not the only way we could experience a Biophilic design.

Biophilic Design basic elements
Experiencing natural light, shade, plants...

2. The indirect experience of nature.

The indirect experience is a representation of the natural world through the images and patterns. It is in human nature to convert natural objects into symbolic forms, shapes, colours and in that way project feelings, thoughts and memories. The perfect example of this type of Biophilic experience are paintings, pictures, sculptures, natural materials like wood, metal, wool, leather, shapes mimicking natural curves, etc.

What are Biophilic Design elements
Indirect experience through shapes and materials.

3. The experience of space and place.

We can experience the space in many ways. Senses we use to do so are touch, sound, sight, smell, movement, time and taste. The same space can affect each of us in very different ways. Space is often associated with refuge, where we feel safe and protected. Another way is transitioning between indoors and outdoors, as well as the ecological and cultural connection to place. Navigation through space is also an essential part of the experience.


Learn more about Biophilic design, its benefits and how to implement the elements into your home in the previous article.

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Thanks for reading!


Barbulianno xx

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