Biophilic Design: Bringing the Outdoors In

Fred Wilson, AIA

Fred Wilson, AIA
Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson

Aug 27, 2021 - 5 min read

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Biophilic Design: Bringing the Outdoors In

You know that sense of peace you get when you watch waves roll into shore? Or the serenity you feel when you gaze at branches swaying in a breeze? Imagine you’re experiencing scenes like that through a big window in your great room – with a dog on your lap, a wine glass in hand, and your favorite person at your side.

A picture-perfect moment like the one I’ve just described doesn’t happen by accident – it’s the result of an architecture principle known as biophilic design. You may not have heard the term, but you’ve certainly had the feeling it brings.

Biophilic design is based on the idea that by connecting inhabitants of a building to that building’s surroundings, you can enhance their well-being – and even their productivity. As residential architects, we often talk with clients about “bringing the outdoors in” – which is a simplified way of describing biophilic design.

But it’s more than that. It’s also about building spaces designed to welcome “direct” natural elements such as light, air, water, and plants, indoors. And to use “indirect” experiences of nature such as natural materials and colors, images of nature, and naturalistic shapes and forms to surround people, during the 90% of their day spent indoors, with things that connect them to the outdoors.

Long before “biophilic design” became a buzzword, it was in daily practice at Morgante Wilson Architects. Our team knows the importance of designing homes that connect our clients to their surroundings because we’ve been doing it since the day we opened our doors. That was more than thirty years ago. Since then, we’ve designed scores of homes that are all about bringing the outdoors in, in ever more innovative ways.

Take a look at our website to see what I mean. Or follow us on Instagram for a daily dose of ideas.

You can also read more about biophilic design in this article from The Wall Street Journal, where I recently shared additional thoughts on the topic, and the practice. Even if the term is unfamiliar to you, the sensation of experiencing it is certainly not.

Morgante Wilson Architects provides architectural and interior design services in Chicago, Deerfield, Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Lake Forest, Northbrook, Northfield, Ravinia, Wilmette, and Winnetka – along with Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Fred Wilson, AIA

Fred Wilson, AIA

Founding Partner at Award Winning Chicago Architects, Morgante Wilson