Research demonstrates our contact with nature impacts healthcare outcomes and supports our well-being Understanding Biophilia The Industrial Revolution that began in the 1800s marks a major turning point in history. It caused a fundamental shift away from a farming and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacture. Almost every aspect of lifeRead More

 

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on October 1, 2013

Biophilia…a Love for Nature…Brings Measurable Benefits to Your Health

Research demonstrates our contact with nature impacts healthcare outcomes and supports our well-being

Understanding Biophilia

The Industrial Revolution that began in the 1800s marks a major turning point in history. It caused a fundamental shift away from a farming and handicraft economy to one dominated by industry and machine manufacture. Almost every aspect of life was influenced in some way. But this shift away from nature had penetrating, and not entirely positive, personal and commercial effects.

Haven’t you ever wondered why certain places make us feel good? Anthropologists tell us we are ‘hard-wired’ to respond to nature. People viscerally respond to the same relationship in architecture because it makes us feel good. These sensations are known as biophilia, a concept that implies humans hold a biological need for connection with nature on physical, mental, and social levels.

Most people would prefer a house with a porch overlooking a body of water and a view of distant mountains to a windowless bunker. Yet much of our architecture and buildings fail to incorporate any connection to nature or natural light. Numerous research studies have shown that work, medical recovery, and educational success are significantly correlated to a greater incorporation of nature into the design and construction of buildings. The experience of biophilic design…design with access to nature…has been shown to positively impact productivity, emotional well-being, stress reduction, learning and healing. Additionally, from an environmental standpoint, biophilic design fosters an appreciation of nature, which, in turn, should lead to greater protection of natural areas, elimination of pollution, and a cleaner environment.

The Benefits of Biophilia


Health and Healing

The most clearly demonstrated benefits of biophilia are related to health and healing. History reflects the potential for biophilia to produce positive, measurable outcomes on human health and healing that has been understood for centuries – Chinese Taoists, medieval English literature, and even Florence Nightingale advocated gardens and greenery – were beneficial to health and recovery from illness. More recently, Roger Ulrich, Ph.D., professor of architecture and landscape architecture at Texas A&M University, has quantified the medical benefits of patient views of nature, including how biophilic design and exposure to natural light helps to reduce patient pain and stress during recovery.

Productivity
Researchers from the Rocky Mountain Institute and Carnegie Mellon University have reported significant improvement in productivity of workers as a result of biophilic building design, including exposure to daylight and views to the outdoors. In addition to productivity, their research also indicated higher level of worker satisfaction.

Appreciation for Nature
One of the most compelling reasons to incorporate biophilic design features in buildings is to inspire interest in – and appreciation of – nature. This appreciation can not only motivate people to protect the environment, but also encourage design that provides habitat for targeted species and to enhance surrounding natural systems.

Biophilic design is the architecture of life – connecting people with nature, enhancing our experiences, and helping us lead happier and healthier lives.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Dr. Craig Spodak is a third generation dentist who joined his father’s practice in Delray Beach, Fla. after graduating from Tufts University in 1998. His dream was to change the way patients experience dental care and he developed a new vision for the modern dental practice with a goal to deliver comprehensive dental care in a singular, all inclusive practice. He created one of the world’s only LEED Gold Certified dental facilities, which boasts not only a team of the finest dental and medical professionals from all disciples of the field, but also a holistic environment that comforts patients. Dr. Craig is an expert lecturer for Invisalign and Spodak Dental Group is one of the few Top 1 Percent providers of Invisalign in the world.


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