January 17, 2015

Terrapin Bright Green – The Blog

Recently, I had the pleasure of being a guest speaker for graduate students of Architecture at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. The lecture is part of a semester-long course on “Biophilia, Biomimicry and Bioculture”, facilitated by architect and professor Robin Randell of Legat Architects. In preparation for the lecture and discussion, students had read “14 Patterns of Biophilic Design” and had prepared a series of questions. We discussed at length popular research areas, low cost interventions, and some of the opportunities and challenges of implementing biophilic design.

Courses like this are indicative of a growing trend in university curricula and programming. Teachings in biophilia and biomimicry are evolving from one-off lectures to instructional courses and even interdisciplinary degree programs. In the United States, UC Berkeley’s Center for the Built Environment and the University of Vermont’s program in Sustainable Design of the Built Environment each have courses on biophilia, and the American Society for Interior Designers (ASID) anticipates their online continuing education course on the 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design will be available this spring. Meanwhile, the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture is issuing grants to help “promote and advance knowledge that links neuroscience research to a growing understanding of human responses to the built environment;” the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture is home to the Biophilic Cities Network; and Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment (CHGE) has facilitated projects like the Natural Environments Initiative to advance the research on biophilia.

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