In his 1984 book and largely the running go-to when it comes to the subject, Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis as "the urge to affiliate with other forms of life".
As often is with architecture and design, we take cues from the thoughts and ideas around us and incorporate them into forms, shapes, utilising other design elements and principles to create something which speaks for the needs and ideals of our current society.
There are numerous examples of well known architectural pieces exhibiting largely a biophilic character, the Sydney Opera House, Frank Lloyd’s Wright’s Falling Water house etc. Loosely, the same could be said for anything which exudes a pattern or a form resonate of nature, whether the intention for biophilic design is there or not.
None is truer to the concept than the case of Ross Lovegrove’s latest collection for Spanish manufacturer Vondom “Biophilia” (see the KE-ZU Blog post on Biophilia here). Biophilia in essence as is definition, the collection extends to outdoor chairs, arm chairs, sofas and tables. Lovegrove says of the works:
Biophilia explores the a new design language that forms a dialogue between time , form and space combining the pioneering organic design of Segrada Famila by Antonio Gaudi.
Giving a recognizable nod to the human form and our physical composition, Biophilia works with the gurus of roto-moulding technology Vondom to create the contemporary and shapely designs. The term biophilia can literally mean "love of life or living systems” – and in these current times of paramount sustainability awareness and the need for us as people to repair the damage that we have arguably caused our environment, there is a need for biophilic design to be incorporated into our everyday lives, a constant reminder of our affiliation with the aesthetics of nature.
We’ll be looking further into Biophilic design in the coming weeks, particularly with the environmental KE-ZU focus for the upcoming Saturday in Design.