Biophilia: the concept of nature in design

Play icon

Biophilia: the concept of nature in design


  Last updated June 5, 2020 at 5:32 pm


By using biophilia and adding nature into our urban landscape designs, we could do wonders for our physical and mental health.

Why This Matters: Your indoor plant obsession is just the beginning.

Sometimes all it takes for us to feel a little bit better is to step outside and get some fresh air. Numerous studies have shown that stepping out into nature can relax and refresh us, as well as having positive impacts on our health. Knowing all those benefits, what if we could bring nature indoors?

This concept is known as biophilia and it sees architects looking to nature for inspiration.

Phillip Roös, an expert in environmental design and architecture at Deakin University says that human beings are “intrinsically connected and linked to visible and non-visible geometric forms and patterns in nature”.

“Biophilia is our human desire to be part of nature,” he says.

“Sometimes I refer it to sensory architecture because we have to include all our human senses to experience a place – particularly a place that has soul.”

Deeper: Adding nature to our grand designs

However, biophilia isn’t just about adding some pot plants in the corner. Instead, it’s about taking cues from nature – like the curls of a wave, or the sound of flowing water – and adding them into our urban designs.

“If you’re in a forest, it’s not only that I see the tree and the soil, but I also hear things, I smell things, I feel things… There’s lot of avid connections that happen in that space. Can we bring that back into built form?”

“My research in this space is really striving to find that living structures in spaces.”

More Like This

Australian house designs are terrible in the summer heat

Tweets suggest a visit to the park may lift your emotions

Published By

Deakin is a multi-award winning, internationally recognised university. More than 61,000 students study across our five campuses in Melbourne, Geelong and Warrnambool, and at the Cloud Campus and have chosen Deakin for its:

• excellent graduate outcomes

• practical, hands-on approach to learning

• access to state-of-the-art facilities

• teachers with experience and influence in their field

• courses that are informed by industry and offer real-world learning

• exceptional industry connections and work placement programs, in Australia and overseas

• flexible study options, whether on campus or online.