What is Biophilia? What It Means & Why It Matters

 
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As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, lifestyle convenience and stimuli typically increase while access to nature and green spaces decrease.

Biophilia and biophilic design are in this sense a thoroughly modern response to that disconnect from nature although, as you’ll discover, it is one informed by our meta history, having evolved as a species in relative harmony with nature over hundreds of thousands of years.

What is Biophilia?

We define biophilia as the human love of or need for a close connection with nature and other forms of life. When applied to modern lifestyles, ‘biophilic living’ resembles less a primal, hunter-gatherer lifestyle and is rather about the respectful integration of nature into our home, offices, gyms, diet, beauty products, transport choices and more.

Why Does Biophilia Matter?

Wherever health, wellness, and community are at stake, biophilia has a genuine contribution to make, partly to improve the lives of the people involved but also as a way to protect the planet.

Biophilia & The Triple Bottom Line

Biophilia is a Triple Bottom Line concept in this sense, as it accounts not just for People and Planet but also for Profit, which explains why it has been adopted around the world by some of the most valuable companies in existence.

Amazon, Google, and Apple have all tapped into the power of biophilic design recently for their office interiors, so what lies behind the shift to such botanical work spaces?

Clean Living

Plants convert CO2 back to oxygen as we know but recent studies by institutes such as NASA show that plants also purify the indoor air for us.

Within interiors, this means filtering out harmful chemicals, such as formaldehyde, benzyne, ammonia—to name a few— from off-gassing furniture, paint, building materials, and pollutants that track in from the outside world.

NB: We recommend going big on such plants in each room, around 6-8 per regular user if possible and then supplement that with an air purifier from Dyson, that’s how we do things anyway.

Wellbeing

We are bombarded daily with endless stimulants in bustling urban areas—especially in the era of endless technology. Interiors and exteriors that utilize biophilic design create spaces where such stimuli can be set aside for a dose of Vitamin Nature that will recharge our internal batteries and, as a result, improve concentration, productivity and creativity.

biofit biofilico recharge room green biophilia

Our Biofilico green recharge rooms and office interiors are designed specifically for this purpose in fact. When we integrate movement and activity into the mix as well, we end up with a Biofit gym’s ‘special sauce’ - double the wellness benefits basically!

Community

Not only does biophilia hold the key to connecting with nature in unnatural settings, it also creates opportunities for greater sense of connection between groups of individuals and nature, for example through the creation of communal gardens, green spaces in schools, or shared workspaces like Second Home in Lisbon.

The fundamental insight here is again informed by ancestral health principles that clearly show humans to be tribal animals, originally operating in groups of 150-250 people.

In conclusion, biophilic living is an effective way to counteract against some of the negative effects of urban living and by embracing this concept, we can improve quality of life, health and well-being whilst improving consciousness of our connection to the planet around us.

Related reads from Biofit & Biofilico:

5 Best Examples of Biophilic Design

10 Ways to Add Biophilic Design to Your Home, Office, or Gym

Air Purifying Plants in Biophilic Interiors