Guidelines and considerations for biophilic interior design in healthcare environments


Guidelines and considerations for biophilic interior design in healthcare environments

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Title: Guidelines and considerations for biophilic interior design in healthcare environments
Author: Locklear, Kendra Michele
Abstract: At the heart of this thesis research lies the theory of biophilia which describes the innate affinity that humans have for nature and suggests a scientific hypothesis for environmental behavioral responses within the creative fields of architecture and design. Natural environments afford healing and restorative benefits in the form of positive shifts in cognitive, physical, and social functioning. Stress relieving benefits of natural environments are also widely recognized for their ability to provide a sense of control or privacy, a means for social support and interaction, opportunities for physical exercise and movement, and positive distractions through connection to nature. By creating verdant environments that are sensory-rich and accommodate physical experiences with nature beyond the passive experience of simply viewing it from the interior, a garden can provide healing benefits that extend past the architectural walls of the healthcare building. Through the introduction of guidelines and considerations, the field of healing landscape architecture has been able to design for positive environmental responses to create successful exterior healing environments. However, the same supportive characteristics, preferences, and stress relieving benefits of a natural healing environment need to be considered for the interior healthcare environment. To further facilitate well-being, the built spaces need to be environments that reconnect the body and mind and foster a sense of place. These healing effects can be achieved through biophilic and sensory encounters within the facility. By focusing more on the human-environmental response research from environmental psychology, the methods for healing landscape architecture, and expanding on the principle of connection to nature in evidence-based healthcare design, healing interior environments can begin to be redefined. Using concepts of biophilic design to guide decisions for the built environment, spaces are designed to support healing through biophilic responses and connection to natural elements and systems. This thesis is meant to be viewed as a contribution towards developing evidence-based biophilic interior design solutions for healthcare environments. The interdisciplinary research and proposed guidelines are hypotheses for how to further design with nature for human well-being. They offer support and design considerations for psychological responses to nature within the interior healthcare environment.
Department: Interior Design
Subject: Evidence-based healthcare design Interior design Biophilia Healing landscape
Date: 2012-05

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