Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction. – E. O. Wilson
The goals of the Biophilic Net-Positive Design Project is to investigate intersections between new theories and practices in biophilic design and net-positive design to leverage improved health and environmental benefits across scales and design disciplines, including landscape, architecture, and interior design. The project will consider how a biophilic approach to net-positive design might provide broader ecological, experiential, and health benefits that are not readily accessible from a narrower performance-based energy and carbon focus. Using a two-phase process, the project includes a series of “online expert conversations” with guest practitioners in fall 2020 and a “living lab design workshop” in spring 2021 to bring together a group of researchers, practitioners, faculty, students, and stakeholders to:
- Define strategic intersections between biophilic and net-positive design across scales and disciplines. This will include consideration of their relationships to sustainable, resilient, regenerative, and socially responsible and equitable design theories and practices.
- Critique existing performance metrics to identify qualitative and quantitative measures and potential gaps.
- Explore diverse proposals for “living lab” demonstration projects at the University of Minnesota that will be used to seek related teaching and research funding.
The outcomes of the “expert conversations” and “living lab workshop” will be used to develop proposals to seek funding for related “living lab” projects on the University of Minnesota campuses. With funding, the demonstration “living labs” will promote innovative research and teaching in the College of Design to develop, test, and monitor human and ecological health and impacts across scales. The desired outcomes include:
- Foundational strategies and metrics for “Net-Positive Design” and “Biophilic Design” and their relationships to sustainable, resilient, regenerative, and socially responsible and equitable design theories and practices.
- Identification of strategic intersections between biophilic and net-positive design strategies across topics and scales.
- Critique of existing performance metrics from select design guides and systems to identify related areas of integration and potential gaps.
- Identification of diverse design concepts, strategies, and project proposals for related “living labs” at the University of Minnesota.