A BRIEF HISTORY
In 1984 Dr. Edward O. Wilson, a celebrated entomologist and biodiversity advocate, wrote Biophilia and proposed that humanity has an inherent biological affinity for living organisms and systems. His ideas are now finding a foothold in the Building Industry and biophilic design has emerged as path forward towards a more sustainable world. But isn’t everything old new again? We humans have been applying biophilic design principles to our built environments for millennia – since, as Wilson argues: it’s hardwired into our biology.
“Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.”
- Edward O. Wilson
Victorian ERa BiophiliA
Biophilia in the Victorian era manifested itself under the names like orchidelirium and pteridomania (orchid fever and fern mania respectively) These popular plant obsessions were examples of man trying to "collect" pieces of the natural world and bring highly coveted cultivars into their inner sanctums.
At the turn of the century, the forward march of the Machine Age replaced Victorian greenhouses, conservatories, and orangeries with Modernist architecture, bringing us a lot of concrete and steel. Designers placed ideological primacy on function over form. Sadly, many buildings of this era were neither beautiful nor functional. This biophobic architecture has left us with a legacy of buildings that are shockingly devoid of nature.
Following our INstincts
Today, the biophilic design movement should be viewed as an admission that in the Modern Era we lost our primal connection to our natural environment. At The Makers Guild, we are designing our spaces with a focus on seamless integration with living systems. Sourcing natural materials, improving indoor air quality, and re-connecting to the elements of natural light, water, and vegetation are crucial components to healthy living.