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Unlocking Happiness with Nature and Building Science

It has a name: Biophilia. It means “love of life or living things,” and it was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm in 1964.  But designers and architects have intuitively known that connecting our loving spaces to other living spaces is a recipe for happy humans.

Writer Katie Scott recently penned a nice overview of the historical and scientific journey of  biophilia and the role it plays when designing our home and work spaces.  Writing for, Scott catalogues several scientific papers exploring the impact of biophlic design (hint: it makes home and work spaces happier places to be in) as well as interesting historical events (hint: the industrial revolution help drive the confined brick and mortar aesthetic of city dwelling into existence). “At some point in this process, we decided that cities are made of bricks and mortar, and the natural world was something dangerous that needed to be kept out of our homes – or controlled behind fences. Now, however, there is a growing awareness not only of the benefits that nature offers us, but how we are part of the natural world – and therefore should incorporate it into our lives, and our homes.”

According to Scott, here are 5 tips to incorporate biophilic design into your home:

  1. When redesigning your space, look at introducing natural materials, hues, textures, and patinas to add layers of interest. Keep in mind all of your senses when you do this.
  2. Try to bring in as much natural light as possible. The room in your home that has the most daylight is probably the one you spend the most time in.
  3. If you have space outside, plant trees but think about the ecology of your area when choosing species.
  4. Create shady spaces to sit in your garden, or make use of any outside space to make a spot to sit.
  5. Buy air-purifying plants and place them where they will break up harsh lines.

Read the full article here.


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