By Raymond Lopez, Associate Creative Director

The recent pandemic has dramatically changed how we see the world. We all experienced the impact of an uncertainty so far reaching, we became more determined to focus on what is most essential. Consequently, this redirected our attention, causing us to restructure our priorities and put our health and well-being at the top of the agenda.

Challenges are the catalyst for change, and we are at a crossroad. We are compelled to create new pathways, look for new possibilities, so we can be able to keep or improve our quality of life. We look to design –by this we can hurdle past instability and still create a promising future. In the field of design where spaces are created, we need to revisit the age-old criteria that guides us. Typically, we start with the guidelines dictated by function and aesthetics. Although the balance of this mixture has been proven to be effective, at this juncture the ingredient of wellness should be added to future-proof a design.

We should go back to basics – and Biophilia is the way forward. By true definition:

Biophilia literally means “love of life”. It is based on a belief that – for people to thrive – it is vital to connect with nature.

It is a proven fact that nature has healing qualities. It is beneficial to both the mental and physical health of an individual. It follows then that any built environment that took inspiration, or physically incorporates nature in the design will have a positive and invigorating impact on wellbeing. The DNA of modern design should include nature, and we should pursue this course of action.

Biophilic Design should be a movement that is sustained and passed on like culture to the next generation of designers. It is crucial that all of us clearly understand that our relationship with nature is mutually dependent and symbiotic. A shift in our mindset is called for because the goal posts have been moved.  Certainly, our responsibility now extends further than creating usable and beautiful spaces. We owe it to ourselves and others to forge ahead and progress, nevertheless, development should not come at the expense of something we cannot afford to lose. The goal of creating spaces where people can be healthy and thrive can be achieved; if within the footprint of these spaces, nature still flourishes.