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14 Patterns of Biophilic Design

Biophilia is human's deep-seated connection with nature. It helps explain why crackling fires and crashing waves captivate us; why a view to nature can enhance our creativity; why shadows and heights instill fascination and fear; and why gardening has restorative healing effects. Biophilia, as a hypothesis, may also help explain why some urban parks and buildings are preferred over others. The intent of this session is to articulate the relationships between nature, science, and the built environment so that we may experience the benefits of biophilia in our design applications. The speakers will present a framework for biophilic design that is reflective of the nature-health relationships most prominent in the built environment. They will provide an introduction to 14 patterns of biophilic design; then engage the audience for an in-depth exploration of a few patterns, including implementation challenges identified by the audience and potential strategies for overcoming them.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Participants will be able to convey the financial argument supporting good biophilic design.
  2. Participants will be able to articulate the difference between Nature in the Space, Nature Analogues and Nature of the Space and how they impact user experience.
  3. Participants will be able to name 14 patterns of biophilic design and their relationship to the built environment; they will be able to identify these patterns in existing spaces. Participants will also have an in-depth understanding of 2 or 3 of these patterns; they will be able to critique the application of these patterns and how the application could be improved or replicated.
  4. Participants will be able to immediately apply lessons and strategies to enhance the productivity and/or health and well-being of any project.



Catie Ryan, Project Manager, Terrapin Bright Green

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