This paper puts biophilic design in context with architectural history, health sciences and current architectural practices, and briefly touches on key implementation considerations, then presents biophilic design patterns. The patterns have been developed through extensive interdisciplinary research and are supported by empirical evidence and the work of Christopher Alexander, Judith Heerwagen, Rachel and Stephen Kaplan, Stephen Kellert, Roger Ulrich, and many others. Over 500 publications on biophilic responses have been mined to uncover patterns useful to designers of the built environment. These 14 patterns have a wide range of applications for both interior and exterior environments, and are meant to be flexible and adaptive, allowing for project-appropriate implementation:
The consistency of natural themes in historic structures and places suggests that biophilic design is not a new phenomenon; rather, as a field of applied science, it is the codification of history, human intuition and neural sciences showing that connections with nature are vital to maintaining a healthful and vibrant existence as an urban species.
Haptic: Pet therapy, where companionship and the act of petting and feeling the fur of domesticated animals, is known to have profound calming effects on patients; gardening and horticulture activities have shown to engender environmental stewardship among children, reduce self-reported fatigue while maintaining joint flexibility among adults (e.g., Yamane et al., 2004), and reduce perception of pain among senior populations with arthritis. The act of touching real plant life, versus synthetic plants, has also shown to induce relaxation through a change in cerebral blood flow rates (e.g., Koga & Iwasaki, 2013). These examples give reason to believe that the experience of touching other elements in nature, such as water or raw materials, may result in similar health outcomes.
The Non-Visual Connection with Nature pattern is derived from data on reductions in systolic blood pressure and stress hormones (Park, Tsunetsugu, Kasetani et al., 2009; Hartig, Evans, Jamner et al., 2003; Orsega-Smith, Mowen, Payne et al., 2004; Ulrich, Simons, Losito et al., 1991), impact of sound and vibration on cognitive performance (Mehta, Zhu & Cheema, 2012; Ljungberg, Neely, & Lundström, 2004), and perceived improvements in mental health and tranquility as a result of non-visual sensory interactions with non-threatening nature (Li, Kobayashi, Inagaki et al., 2012; Jahncke, et al., 2011; Tsunetsugu, Park, & Miyazaki, 2010; Kim, Ren, & Fielding, 2007; Stigsdotter & Grahn, 2003). 2b1af7f3a8