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Biophilia – Connecting With the Natural World to Improve Health and Well-Being

The Lookout - custom home build in Aspen with beautiful exterior design and landscape

Bio what?


Search “biophilia” and you’ll find references as far afield as Icelandic singer Björk’s album by that name, exploring the links between nature, music and technology.


Go deeper, and you’ll discover that psychoanalyst Erich Fromm popularized the term in the 1960s, coining bio, meaning “life” and philia, meaning “friendly feeling toward,” to describe the biological drive toward self-preservation. And that in the late 1970s, American biologist Edward O. Wilson expanded on the meaning, using it to describe “the rich natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.”1


But more and more, you’ll find explanations of, and ruminations about, biophilia as it relates to architecture today.


Architects worldwide, including Rowland+Broughton, are emphasizing the importance of connecting with the natural environment in their work. Encouraging personal well-being by strengthening the indoor-outdoor connection in homes has become second nature, shall we say. Establishing an environment that is pleasing to the eye, soothing to the psyche, and physically comforting.


As a concept, biophilic design may incorporate numerous elements and practices, such as:

– providing direct connections to the outdoors via panoramic bi-fold door systems, terraces and decks

– encouraging natural light through well-positioned windows, doors and skylights

– utilizing natural materials, finishes and furnishings

– incorporating the element of water by integrating natural streams or ponds, or designing water features and/or pools

– incorporating the warming element of fire with the addition of fireplaces or firepits

– creating abundant green areas, such as outdoor gardens and greenhouses or indoor living walls


The end result? Biophilia. Healthy lifestyles, nurturing environments.





Source 1: Miriam-Webster