Although we have a good idea of the importance of preservation and restoration of our natural world, only recently humanity became aware that our connection to biodiversity and human-nature connection has a great impact on our lives and to improve the quality of life of those who live away from the natural environments.
Multiple studies are researching the possible outcome of nature deficit in our lives, trying to understand the effect that the lack of natural stimuli have on our body, mind and daily routine. The way we are affected may vary dependent on the level of damage we receive due to separation with the natural world. The impact of these implications is currently studied in medicine, psychology, sociology and design in order to find a right use for natural factors and direct this knowledge towards the improvement of our lives.
One of the most human-centered studies within this field is a theory of Biophilia1, that introduces a deeper investigation of human cognitive reactions towards nature, as well as the effect on our physique, development, and well-being.
This theory is applicable to almost any field that involves human activities and where there is a space for improvement. My interest lies within the field of Interior Design and Architecture, and how the implementation of nature can affect users of the space.
I decided to apply this investigation to an early age educational establishments for children from 0 months to 6 years old, as I believe during this period of life of every human, Biophilia is crucial to development and can significantly influence further advancements of next generations. I strongly believe that If Biophilia is smartly applied into the design of early education establishments, Biophilic theory can significantly help children to improve their physical and cognitive performance as well as develop their good habits.
In the first chapter of this extended essay I will explain the definition of Biophilia and explore its concept and origin. I will present several examples of its effects and elaborate on the importance of it for our body and mind. I will also cover the possible improvements that could be induced passively by natural element presence that would improve the early development of the youngest of our population. In the second chapter I will analyze the studies conducted to challenge the Biophilic theory and reflect on the conclusions that can be drawn from the results in order to identify possible implementation that may improve existing concepts of educational establishments.
The aim of the last chapter is to demonstrate a Biophilic design in action. I will examine several pre-existing concepts in architecture and design, including but not limited to educational establishments, where Biophilic implementation and natural elements play a significant part. I also will look at already existing environmental programs in educational establishments in United Kingdom and possible implementations that can be easily made in order to achieve a new level of design in nursery schools and other educational establishments.
This essay will push forward an argument for introducing Biophilic Design as an innovative tool for designing human-centered educational establishments where nature can potentially improve children performance, health and well-being.