What is biophilia?
The term Biophilia means love of life or love of nature (bio=life/nature + philia=love). The concept originated as a scientific hypothesis introduced in the early 1980's by Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson. Biophilia refers to human being's instinctive, genetically based need to affiliate with nature — a need established because human evolution occurred while we lived in close contact with the natural world. Now, the concept of Biophilia is becoming increasingly relevant as it addresses the growing concerns of human sustainability, which many understand to be caused by a growing human disregard for the natural world. In recent years, Biophilia has been of special interest to architects and designers, spawning the Biophilic Design movement in architecture and design, especially healthcare design.
What is biophilic engagement?
Biophilic engagement refers to our contact and connections with beneficial and pleasant experiences of nature. Even though human beings live in ever greater isolation from nature, we all share a genetic predisposition to favor experiences of nature. Lack of biophilic engagement has been linked to certain developmental deficiencies and psycho-physiological problems. Increasing biophilic engagement has been linked to many benefits for mind and body.
What does it mean to enliven biophilia?
By increasing conscious engagement and contact with nature, our love for and appreciation of nature is enlivened. Enlivened biophilia strengthens the bond with nature that we developed over the eons of human evolution. Personal identification with nature promotes our psycho-physiological fitness and well-being. When we find refreshment from a walk in nature, we are experiencing the effects of biophilic enlivenment.
What are the benefits of enlivening biophilia?
Research conducted in many fields over the last several decades has shown that biophilic engagement has significant effects on mind, body, behavior and social interaction. Specifically, research on nature and health has established that natural daylight and views to nature improve the comfort and healing of patients in healthcare settings. Enlivening biophilia is a positive feedback dynamic. When we experience the benefits of engagement with nature — alleviation of stress, increased sociability, greater problem solving abilities, improved measures of physiological stability and health, etc. — we tend to further increase our contact with nature, which in turn increases the benefits gained from those experiences. Because human beings tend to care for whatever we appreciate and love, and because enlivening biophilia cultivates a greater appreciation and love for nature and life, enlivening biophilia promotes actions that favor the appreciation and protection of nature.
Sky Factory & Biophilia
Sky Factory creates realistic illusions of nature. Research indicates that views to nature, either real or simulated, have significant and beneficial effects on health outcomes in healthcare settings. Views to nature have been positively correlated with worker satisfaction and productivity. People favor positive experiences of nature — a clear sunny day, an expansive panorama from a commanding position, water running through a stream, the endless shifting of clouds in the sky. Sky Factory's products are not meant to replace those genuine experiences, but to make them available in interior spaces (where we spend so much of our contemporary lives) devoid of access to biophilic engagement. By enlivening biophilia Sky Factory illusions contribute to appreciation and care for the real nature around us.
By Edward O. Wilson
The Biophilia Hypothesis
Edited by E.O. Wilson and Stephen Kellert
Edited by Stephen Kellert, et al
The Economics of Biophilia. Why Designing With Nature In Mind Makes Sense
By Terrapin Bright Green