Fashion & DesignBiophilic Design: What it is and How You Can Take Part

Biophilic Design: What it is and How You Can Take Part

While it feels like the term “plant parent” has exploded in recent times (read: Millennials would rather produce seedlings than babies as the end of the world nears), interweaving flora into private and public spaces is not new. In fact, Biophilic design is on the rise in a fresh way. 

This concept is rooted in implementing the natural world into the built world. It recognizes the importance of innovating the way that we interact within our environment to better serve people’s connection to nature. Biophilia is meant to be designed with the human experience in mind. The natural environment holds many lost healing benefits as our concrete world has developed. It’s why everyone from doctors to IG influencers tell you to get out of the house, go for a walk and get some vitamin D. We’ve fallen out of touch with nature and here’s how we begin to fix that. Blurring the lines between interior and exterior is the basis of building a biophilic and sustainable environment.

Bringing the Climate Crisis into View

Global warming is real and it’s brought on a new era of environmentally-conscious design movements, and consumer demand to match. Interior design approaches are shifting as designers, architects and laypeople adapt their homes’ function, finding a balance between creating beautiful interiors without harming the environment. 

It’s quite simple to jump on the bandwagon with this sustainable design trend. The easiest begins with natural light and buying a few house plants. Many have already achieved this level of biophilia in their spaces without even recognizing it. Looking beyond a few houseplants, live walls and architectural facades have adapted this design approach and began looking at how to incorporate biophilia into architecture. How gorgeous would a cityscape look with splashes of green and life? But, it’s not all about aesthetics. The next step is building with natural materials that are locally-sourced or have a lower carbon impact such as local wood, cork, hemp and bamboo. These not only provide a more visually intriguing space but also creates an environmentally conscious one.

Biophilia Takes on Toronto

Biophilic design is already hitting Toronto as the landscape of the city is starting to change. Bjarke Ingels Group is reimagining what the downtown core looks like on King Street. Its King Toronto project has been approved for development and it’s going to change the way people think about cities. The block of condos is set to be a community-building residence that also serves as art. As an ode to Habitat 67 designed by Moshe Safdie, Ingles is implementing his passion for biophilic design with a visually entrancing structure similar to Safdie’s iconic green building, taking architecture one step closer to achieving a more sustainable impact.


Bjarke Ingels Group's biophilic design project on King Street in Toronto. The building looks like boxes stacked on top of one anther and the roof is covered in greenery. The CN Tower can be seen in the background.

Mock-up for King Toronto by Bjarke Ingels Group


It’s important that the structures serving us today don’t burden the world tomorrow. High-quality, biophilic designs recognize that harmony between humanity and nature starts with less waste and more conscious usage of the earth’s raw materials. Instead of continuing to build architecture that feeds our already polluted environment, it’s time we build lasting and biophilic structures. So while architects implement more ethical foundations, go buy some plants and help make the next generation of interiors more sustainable.


A skyscraper has a module appearance to it where the units look stacked upon one another. Greenery is spilling from each balcony, almost hiding the majority of the actual building's features.



Hanna Bowles is a Glossi Mag contributor.


She is a current creative industries student, avid plant lover and architecture admirer, who loves a good thrift find.
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