April 26, 2021

Biophilic Design - Bill Browning & Catie Ryan - BS047

Biophilic Design - Bill Browning & Catie Ryan - BS047

This week I am incredibly excited to be joined by Bill Browning and Catie Ryan from Terrapin Bright Green to discuss biophilic design.

What is Biophilic Design?


Biophilic design is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions. Used at both the building and city-scale, it is argued that this idea has health, environmental, and economic benefits for building occupants and urban environments, with few drawbacks. (Wikipedia)

Why is Biophilic Design important?

For me, finding out there is scientific evidence to show that bringing nature into your life makes you happier/healthier/better functioning was a slight surprise. In every natural building I have been in, people have talked of 'the feeling' or of calming. Having read into biophilia, it's certainly true that nature does this. What I find fascinating is the depth at which we can utilise this knowledge to create better spaces for humans to exist in - ones which bring nature in. This goes well beyond, putting some house plants in a room, but looks at views, textures, airflow, safety, shadows, patterns and so much more. I realised that biophilic design is the thread which holds together much of what i'm interested in and what these podcasts are often about. 

Biophilia in Craft

If i'm totally honest I didn't really know why I was including episodes on craft or getting into nature in this podcast. It just 'felt' connected. Now I see that it is connected!  These are examples of biophilia that make happier healthier human beings. By bringing the willow basket into our lives and into our homes, offices and spaces we are connecting ourselves with nature, the place where humans thrive.

Biophilic Design Podcast links:



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Bill Browning

Bill Browning co-founded the sustainability consulting firm Terrapin Bright Green. He is a founding board member of the US Green Building Council and an Honorary member of the American Institute of Architects. He received the 2015 American Society of Interior Designers national 'Design for Humanity' award for work in biophilic and green building design.

Catie Ryan

Catie Ryan is the director of projects at Terrapin Bright Green with twenty years’ experience in design and environmental sustainability. She is a leading international biophilic design consultant for buildings, landscape and master planning projects. She has published extensively on biophilic design, for which Terrapin was honoured with the 2014 Environmental Design Research Association’s 'Achievement Award'.