Ever wonder why you crave fresh air and sunlight after a stressful week at work?
The answer is in our DNA, and is best answered by the Biophilia Hypothesis. It sounds complex, but the term translates to the simple phrase “love of life,” or our intuitive tendency to connect with and interact in nature.
We are predisposed to connect our senses with the natural world, and find solace in walks among the trees and mountains. We are naturally drawn to love, appreciate, and preserve our planet because our survival depends on the Human-Nature relationship.
Our bodies work within this framework as well, which is why being outside actually lowers our blood pressure, eases effects of mental health disorders like ADHD and depression, and improves our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Pretty powerful, right?
But what happens as we replace natural living with man-made megacities, suburbs, and buildings? As access to the “wild world” becomes increasingly rare and endangered, people are discovering the importance of incorporating nature into our modern living environment - a concept called Biophilic Design.
“Green” and “eco-friendly” work and living environments are becoming more popular as people begin to understand the importance of maintaining a connection to nature. The Natural Resources Defense Council “incorporates biophilic design into all its offices to encourage the connection between humans and nature, as well as promote staff wellness and productivity.”
The short-term effects of these changes are incredible, and the long-term effects are vital. By creating exposure to natural elements through biophilic design, we are able to better guarantee that future generations do not become biophobic, and that they are able to “maintain an affinity with nature, so that they will grow up to be stewards of the wild places and animals that make our planet magnificent.”