Biophilic Design and You

Architects have a responsibility to not only create buildings that fulfill their functional purpose but also to craft spaces that enhance the well-being of their occupants. Biophilic design is a strategy that helps us achieve this goal by using the natural world as a core aspect of design.

Understanding Biophilic Design

The term 'biophilic design' was coined by biologist Edward O. Wilson in the 1980s, drawing from the Greek roots for 'life' and 'love.' The concept suggests that humans have an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. In architectural terms, biophilic design involves incorporating natural materials, natural light, vegetation, nature views, and other experiences of the natural world into the built environment.

Principles of Biophilic Design

The principles of biophilic design revolve around the inclusion of nature into architectural design. Here are some common elements:

Direct Connection to Nature: This involves incorporating elements like plants, water, and animals into the design. A direct connection could be as simple as including large, open windows that offer views of the surrounding environment, or as complex as integrating indoor gardens or water features.

Indirect Connection to Nature: This entails using nature-inspired patterns, colors, shapes, or materials in the design. For example, using wood and stone textures, incorporating naturalistic shapes, or using greens and browns could all provide an indirect connection.

Space and Place Conditions: These are features that mimic natural environments, like varied temperatures or air flow across a space.

Benefits of Biophilic Design

Numerous studies have demonstrated the significant benefits that biophilic design can bring. These include:

Improved Health: Interacting with nature can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase mood and concentration, and even speed up recovery from illness.

Increased Productivity: Studies show that offices incorporating biophilic elements can increase productivity by as much as 8% and rates of well-being by up to 13%.

Economic Value: Biophilic buildings tend to command higher rent and sale prices due to their increased appeal.

Inspiring Biophilic Architectural Projects

Architects around the world are embracing the biophilic approach and demonstrating its possibilities. For example, Singapore's Khoo Teck Puat Hospital is a prime example of biophilic design. The hospital features roof gardens, green walls, and abundant natural light, creating a healing environment for patients.


As architects, incorporating biophilic design into our projects can help us create buildings that are not only beautiful but also promote the well-being of their occupants. Whether through direct connections to nature or indirect allusions to the natural world, there's always a way to bring a touch of the outdoors into our designs. By doing so, you can foster more vibrant, healthier, and sustainable environments for people to live, work, and play.

If you want your customers to better understand what you’re designing, and systems like ChiefArchitect aren’t presenting them in the best way possible, reach out to Modelize. We’ll take the beautiful design you’re crafting and transform it into an interactive, 3D virtual environment for your customer to explore in full.

Interested? Feel free to contact us.