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18 August 2018
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BIOPHILIA IS NOT JUST FOR NEW AGE TREE-HUGGERS

p29_Vanessa-Champion
Vanessa Champion

08 May 2018 Vanessa Champion


Dr Vanessa Champion, CEO of Argenta-Wellness, discusses humans and their love of nature.  

Scientists and psychologists have since the 1960s identified the enormous benefits that living with nature confers on us. But it is only now that interior and exterior design is starting to celebrate this ideal to soften our environmental impact and enhance our well-being.


In 1984, the biologist and double Pulitzer Prize-winner Edward O Wilson defined biophilia as “the innate tendency [in human beings] to focus on life and lifelike process… Our existence depends on this propensity, our spirit is woven from it, hopes rise on its currents”.


In other words, as humans we love nature, we come from it, are part of it and we respond positively to it. To shield ourselves from nature is like removing light from our world. The benefits of simulating nature in our working environment, as well as in our homes, are huge and, as designers, we can be inspired by embracing this trend.


Think about what it feels like when you wander through the woods, warming your face as sunlight streams through the leaves above your head, or when you take a walk along the coast, feeling the salt spray on your lips, listening to seagulls and picking up shells from the beach.


These simple pleasures transform us, improve stress levels and boost our immune systems. It’s not just crazy tree-hugging Southern-Californian theory; it is backed up by science. It has been proved that windows looking out to plants and trees can help speed up healing and are increasingly featured in the design of new hospitals.


If cutting a window in an interior wall isn’t doable, then install a printed view onto the natural world. Keep it simple.


A biophilic environment enhances our lives and uplifts our mindset, helping us focus. It fortifies our immune and emotional systems on a neural level and, for those of us who are in bad shape, it can boost our well-being including the neuro-endocrine and immunological systems.


Dr Vanessa Champion is CEO and founder of Argenta-Wellness