Humans rely on environmental cues to make judgments about perceived safety or peril. Evolution honed this intuition, and through the long-term relationship between perception and nature, we’ve developed an affinity for the life-supporting aspects of the natural world. This specific attraction to nature is referred to as biophilia, which literally means the “love of nature.” It recognizes the intrinsic need for nature in our lives, including its psychological benefits. Because biophilia inherently results in environments that soothe, comfort, orient, and calm, it’s specifically relevant to the design of spaces that support behavioral health. Biophilic design connects building occupants to the cycles and patterns of nature by subtly incorporating cues reminiscent of the visual and spatial qualities of natural settings, such as through the use of patterns rather than the specific representations of nature.
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