Sustainability is a hot topic these days. Very good of course, as it is about time that our human civilisation is going to take care of our planet. However, greenwashing seems to be a simultaneously growing issue. Marketing campaigns are filled with sustainable messages that actually turn out to be greenwashing attempts when you dive into the additional information. And thus the question rises: what is true sustainability?
We have gone from acid rain to global warming and from CO2-reduction to carbon footprint. First there was recycling, then less consuming and after that the circular economy presented itself. Sustainability is cool and fun and can be found everywhere. A non-sustainable business or brand does not get any attention these days. And so everybody is selling sustainability. Whether with good quality and long lasting products, bio-based materials, recyclable goods, or last but not least circularity.
Personally I think that all these developments are good, however there is a risk for all of them to become outdated pretty soon. This will happen the moment a new marketing term steps up to the podium and rapidly gains popularity. Some people believe that this destiny awaits biophilic design as well. But I think that the fact that biophilic design is actually a founded philosophy with essential value to human kind will ensure that biophilic design will outlast any superficial marketing campaign.
Biophilic design is not just an idea or a new way of working. The underlying philosophy of Biophilia makes biophilic design a way of thinking about our lives, our planet and how we give meaning to them. This way, biophilic design embodies true regenerative design, because it is a way of living with an intrinsic motivation to care about ourselves and our planet.
Biophilic design stimulates us to open up to our natural environment, to fully experience the natural life that is surrounding us. All senses play a part in this, for the experience to be all-encompassing. When all senses are being triggered, emotions arise. People start noticing the beauty, the vulnerability, the whimsicality and the liveliness of nature, because they open up. And the moment people open up, there is an opportunity for bonding.
The inherent bond between people and nature is triggered and restored with biophilic design. Our well-being gets boosted and we feel better, happier and healthier. With more energy and less stress. This improvement is something to maintain and cherish. The bond with nature will only grow stronger. And this is the real difference.
Biophilically designed spaces establish a relationship with their occupants, because nature speaks to the heart and not to the head. Such comfortable, energising and inspiring environments are not something to neglect or to throw away easily. Such environments we want to keep, to cherish and to maintain the best way we possibly can. So that they will continue to surround us for as long as possible, as well as our kids and their kids after them.
Biophilic design. Nothing hip and happening. But true regenerative design and for the long term.