Can you provide a brief overview of the adoption of biophilic architecture and some key elements of this design philosophy?
Actually, I don’t pay much attention to terminology because biophilic design and biophilic architecture have existed since the early years of Modernism and even before. Early societies had to consider nature and climate when building homes. A later example of biophilic architecture is the atrium houses from early Arabic cultures. Finnish architect Alvar Aalto was one of the pioneers of nature-connected, human-centered design, even without the biophilic label. Aalto is recognized as one of the pioneers in using empathy and user experience in his architectural designs. He was adept at articulating his work philosophy and goals, often assisted by both his first wife, Aino Aalto, and after her passing, Elissa Aalto. Their perspectives offer us, the later generations, rich resources to understand the ideas behind his still-admired architecture and design.
But later, when NASA began researching elements for interiors optimal for human beings, biophilic design began to gain traction. The concept was associated with major companies like Apple and Google in their interior design. Roughly ten years ago, when Asia started rapidly developing larger infrastructure, such as hospitals, extensive biophilic research yielded excellent scientific results. The symbiosis between interiors and local nature contributed significantly to patient recovery and health.
Throughout history, most cultures worldwide have embraced biophilic design because it's grounded in natural human needs. These cultures adapted biophilic design to suit their unique requirements and aesthetics. Biophilic design isn't just a fleeting aesthetic or style. It serves as a foundational reference for designers.