BIOPHILIA: Architecture + Nature


Bjork’s Biophilia Album


Falling Water, FLW

Besides being the title of an excellent Bjork LP (p.s., I heart Bjork), biophilia is  defined as the inherent attraction between humans and nature (be it landscapes, plants, animals,  etc).  Scientists explain it as a biological development- for example, our appreciation of flowers is related to their potential to become edible fruit.

When the term was defined to me, I was certain I was a full blown biophiliac. I have an ongoing inherent need to go outside, pet baby animals,  and buy flowers. Clearly our anonymous has the same problem- see his/her post this week on Ouldoulf.  This human desire has manifested itself architecturally throughout modern history. FLW’s Falling Water is an iconic example; short of sleeping under the stars, having waterfalls and trees literally move through your building is about as biophilic as you can get. Contemporary projects, such as the High Line, also benefit from our nature-loving tendencies. The semi-recent biomorphism trend is perhaps an overly literal appropriation of biophilia. Personally, though, I’d rather have a tree growing through my bedroom.


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