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"Biophilic design integrates but does not appropriate the contributions of other nature‐based design techniques precisely because it can act as a platform or ‘interstitial tissue,’ providing a connective language, practice or ethos that unites disparate disciplines in the built environment more broadly."       – Julia Africa, et al., “Biophilic Design and Climate Change"


PROJECT GOALS: Integrating Biophilic, Regenerative, and Resilient Design Across Scales and Disciplines

The Biophilic Regenerative Design Network (Bio‐Design Network) is an interdisciplinary collaboration to support the integration, investigation, and application of bio‐inspired design strategies across disciplines and scales. The network provides a forum for the developing, testing, implementation, and exchanging integrated biophilic, regenerative, and resilient design strategies, methods, and innovations that support environmental health and justice for humans, other species, and the planet. The Bio‐Design Network seeks funding for interdisciplinary Pilot Projects and Living Lab initiatives that provide hands‐on collaborations between students, faculty, researchers, practice, industry, and/or community partners. The three scales will allow the team to develop, test, and share/disseminate integrated bio‐inspired design at different scales, utilize a range of design and performance assessment methods, and engage with collaborators both locally and beyond:  

  1. Campus Scale: Pilot bio‐inspired design initiatives on campus to engage students, faculty, and collaborators.
  2. Community Scale: Develop pilot projects in collaboration with local and regional communities.
  3. Multi‐Institutional Scale: Foster partnerships with national and international institutions to gather, disseminate, and transfer Pilot Projects and Living Lab design methods, practices, and innovations for the advancement of bio‐inspired design education, research, practice, and industries.  
POTENTIAL INITIATIVES: Fostering Bio‐Inspired Collaborations

The Bio‐Design Network supports partnerships between the university, practice, communities, and industry to develop, fund, and assess Pilot Projects and Living Lab initiatives. The network fosters integrated bio‐inspired design practices, methods, and solutions for the advancement of education, practice, and industry. Potential pilot initiatives include:

  1. Campus Pilot Projects: Pilot landscapes, interiors, and lab spaces to support teaching, research, and outreach efforts to reduce environmental impacts, energy, and carbon emissions that support environmental health and wellbeing.
  2. Community Pilot Projects: Community projects to foster partnerships to improve environmental health and justice in under‐resourced communities.
  3. Improved Health and Performance: Real‐time testing and post‐occupancy evaluations for improved occupant satisfaction, health, and environmental performance.
  4. Integrated Assessment Metrics: Integrated assessment methods and performance metrics that measure impact, equity, and transferability of strategies across scales.  
  5. Material Innovations: Development and testing of bio‐inspired materials.
  6. Improved Human‐Nature Relationships: Investigation of human perceptions of and relationships with nature and the built environments to advance conservation psychology and reduce ecological impacts.
  7. Interdisciplinary Education and Practice: Interdisciplinary education to foster systems design and methods through collaborative courses and design studios.
  8. Knowledge Hub: Online resource to gather and disseminate design and research findings and outcomes.

The Bio‐Design Network seeks collaborators the university, practice, communities, and industry to develop, test, and disseminate bio‐inspired design innovations across scales and disciples:

Project Team:
  • Abimbola Asojo, PhD, Professor, Interior Design
  • Genell Ebbini, Assistant Professor, College of Technology, Indiana State University
  • Joe Favour, Head, Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Richard Graves, Director & Associate Professor, Center for Sustainable Building Research
  • Mary Guzowski, Professor, School of Architecture
  • Jessica Rossi‐Mastracci, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture
Guest Experts:
  • Sonja Bochart, Biophilic Design Consultant
  • Bill Browning, Terrapin Bright Green
  • Lauren Mandell, Andropogon Associates
University of Minnesota:
  • Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN, FAAN, Director, Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality & Healing
  • Laura Musacchio, Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture
  • Beth Mercer‐Taylor, Co‐Program Director, Sustainability Education, Institute on the Environment
  • Marc Partridge, Campus Architect, University of Minnesota Capital Project Management
  • Tom Ritzer, Assistant Director, University of Minnesota Landcare
  • Emilie Snell‐Rood, PhD, Associate Professor College of Biological Sciences: Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
  • Shane Stennes, Director, Office of Sustainability
  • Erica Timko Olson, PhD, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Nursing
  • Michael Winikoff, Communications Director, BioTechnology Institute
  • Jon Weissman, PhD, Professor of Computer Science
  • Abhishek Chandra, Professor of Computer Science
  • Makeda Zulu‐Gillespie, Executive Director, Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach‐Engagement Center
Practice, Industry, and Community:
  • Becky Alexander, LHB Architects and Engineers, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Rashed Al Nasa’a, MSc, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Fitwel Ambassador, GSAS CGP, PQP, Head of Sustainability, Arab Engineering Bureau (AEB) ‐ Doha, Qatar
  • Haemi Chang, Director, Marvin Design Lab, Minneapolis
  • Catherine Groth, Architect, Alliance, Minneapolis
  • Michael Krause, Principal Kandiyo Consulting and Co‐Chair Green Infrastructure Foundation, Minneapolis
  • Jeff Mandyck, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, Principal, Cunningham
  • Peter MacDonagh, Kestral Design, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Doug Pierce, AIA, LEED Fellow, Senior Associate, Perkins + Will  
  • Anna Pravinata, President, AIA Minnesota, Architect, Alliance, Minneapolis
  • Jamez Staples, Founder Renewable Energy Partners (REP), Inc., Minneapolis
  • Marco Vincent, Architecture Project Manager, Marvin, Minneapolis
  • Dan Stine, Director of Design Technology, Lake Flato Architects
  • Mary Margaret Zindren, Executive Vice President, Ex Officio, AIA Minnesota