Biophilic design

This week’s lecture focus was on biophilic, which I would define as being one with nature. It is the idea that human beings need and crave to be around nature. This is a concept that I agree with wholeheartedly. I think that humans are naturally drawn to nature and we are healthier and happier when we can get out in nature. I have especially learned to appreciate my time in nature this past summer/semester because I work in a basement where there are no windows and I am constantly disconnected to nature during the day. In the lighting reading it stresses how important it is for people to be around natural sunlight as much as possible. It goes into detail about object identification, how light provides information about color, shape, edges, and distance. It also discusses how light can be an indicator of time and weather with is comforting to many people.

One of my favorite things we did this week was watch the TED talk with Elora Hardy. I had never seen her work before we watched the TED talk but I was so impressed and bewildered by her work. One thing that I found particularly interesting was how quickly bamboo grows. I think it’s really amazing how quickly you can regenerate a stock to use again. Her structures are simply amazing, the ingenuity and craftsmanship, to me, was absolutely incredible. I think the work she is doing will be admired for years to come and I hope that someday maybe I can see one of her works in person.

3 Patterns of biophilic design

  1. I thought #5, presence of water, was a really interesting pattern because it isn’t one that you see very often in design. I personally think that there is nothing more calming than the sound of water/rain so this pattern made sense to me. I think the use of water in design could be extremely helpful to peoples wellbeing through touch, sound, and sight. It would be tricky to find a way to implement water into office design, but it is something designers should maybe look into more.
  2. Pattern #8, biomorphic forms and patterns, is one that I think designers could creatively add to designs more than is currently being done. I think often times designer underestimate the good that can come from have texture in a space, on the walls, floors, and furnishings. I think often times in commercial spaces designs come across as very sterile, which looks very clean and organized, but really only appeals to one sense – sight. When you add nature textures and patterns to a space it starts to use more than just sight which can really benefit a worker, especially if it is nature centered.
  3. The last pattern #14, Risk/Peril, is one that I think could be most effective with this generation. This is a technique that will draw people’s attention and make them want to “check it out.” When you add a risk factor to design I think it can be extremely appealing to users. When there is a feature that they can take a picture under, on top of, ect.. that makes them look like they are at risk it will draw other people in to see this adventurous feature. I think this can be a really effective tool for museums, hospitality, and restaurants because they are places that people visit often and will tell others that they need to visit.

On Thursday we visited the sustainability office for campus and got to hear a presentation on how OSU is being more sustainable and green. One of the very first things that the speaker said was, “We are here to save ourselves, not the planet.” That really stood out to me because it made me think about why I am learning what I am learning in this class. I try not to forget that the Earth is just fine without us, and if needed could completely correct itself to be perfect and human-less again. I think this also made me think about why I am making the green changes in my life, it’s not to better the planet (though it will in return better the planet) but it is to make my habits lasting. If we continue to live life without sustainability it will be those habits that prevent us from living out the life that we want to.  I also thought it was really impressive that 70% of the power on campus comes from wind energy. This was not a statistic that I knew before the presentation and I thought that was really cool!

For me, the plant visit was a huge wake up call. I did not realize how much manual labor goes into recycling, so that was a really humbling experience. I was amazed at how much cardboard was ready to be recycled from just the past couple of months. I think it is great that people were so diligent about recycling instead of throwing away, but it does make the days long for the men and women who have to sort through all that cardboard. I think people underappreciate the hard work that goes on behind the scenes of most jobs, this one included.


My sketch represents how all the people of world will have to work together in order to make the earth healthy and sustainable again.

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