poppy 3 header

"Words can plant gardens or burn whole forests down."       – Gemma Troy

DESIGN LEXICON: Finding Common Language

BIOPHILIA:

Biophilia is the passionate love of life and of all that is alive; it is the wish to further growth, whether in a person, a plant, an idea, or a social group.  - Eric Fromm, The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, 1976

BIOPHILIA HYPOTHESIS:

Biophilia Hypothesis is the innate emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Stephen R. Kellert and E. O. Wilson, The Biophilia Hypothesis, 1995

BIOPHILIC DESIGN:

Biophlic design seeks to connect our inherent need to affiliate with nature in the modern buildt environment.   - Stephen R. Kellert, "What Is and Is Not Biophilic Design?" Metropolis

One of the great challenges of our time is to bring the beneficial experience of nature into the design of contemporary buildings, landscapes, communities, and cities. – Stephen R. Kellert, Nature by Design: The Practice of Biophilic Design, 2018

CLIMATE-POSITIVE DESIGN:

Design to increase carbon sequestration and reduce carbon footprints.  - Climate Positive Design Project, 2020

ECOLOGICAL DESIGN:

Ecological design can be defined as any form of design that minimizes the environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes, nature's own flows, cycles, and patterns. - Hande Gültekın, "Ecological Design and Retrieving the Environmental Meaning," 2009

Design that minimizes environmentally destructive impacts by integrating itself with living processes.  - Sim Van der Ryn and Stuart Cowen, Ecological Design, 1996

ECOSYSTEM SERVICES:

The many and varied benefits to humans gifted by the natural environment and from healthy ecosystems.  - Richard Graves, 2020

NATURE:

We consider nature to be an all-inclusive, evolving system of which humans have substantial yet incomplete scientific and cultural knowledge. We believe terrestrial nature, i.e. ‘the landscape’ is best understood as simultaneously an ecosystem and a cultural system—a recognition that urban agglomeration economies and rural processes of extraction and transport now form a planetary network.  - Richard Weller, Frederick Steiner, and Billy Fleming, The McHarg Center

Living systems.  - Richard Graves, 2020

NET-POSITIVE DESIGN:

The goal that a development adds value to living systems (social and/or ecological systems).  - Pamela Mang and Bill Reed, Building Research Information, 2014

[N]et-positive is often used as short-hand for buildings that generate more resources/energy than they consume. . . ‘buildings that “add value” to ecological systems and generate more than they need to fulfill their own needs’ adds a significant caveat to what makes surplus a positive. . . value is defined in terms of benefits to life. Adding value to an ecological system means increasing its systemic capability to generate, sustain and evolve increasingly higher orders of vitality and viability for the life of a particular place.  - Pamela Mang & Bill Reed, "Nature of Positive," Building Research Information, 2014

NET-ZERO DESIGN:

Net Zero means consuming only as much energy as is produced, achieving a sustainable balance between water availability and demand, and eliminating solid waste sent to landfills.  - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2020

REGENERATIVE DESIGN:

Regenerative design prioritizes the understanding and engaging in the unique qualities of place and continues the Bioregionalist commitment to developing communities integrated with their surrounding ecosystems. Rather than legally defined regions, bioregionalism sees geographical province defined by ecological and often cultural unity, often demarked by the watersheds of major river systems.  - Ray Cole, 2012

This is a design process that engages and focuses on the evolution of the whole of the system of which we are part. Logically, our place – community, watershed and bioregion – is the sphere in which we can participate.= By engaging all the key stakeholders and processes of the place – humans, other biotic systems, earth systems, and the consciousness that connects= them – the design process builds the capability of people and the ‘more than human’ participants to engage in continuous and healthy relationship through co-evolution.  - Bill Reed, 2007

System of technologies and strategies, based on an understanding of the inner working of ecosystems that generates designs to regenerate rather than deplete underlying life support systems and resources within socio-ecological wholes.  - Pamela Mang and Bill Reed, "Regenerative Development and Design, Research Gate, 2011

REGENERATIVE DEVELOPMENT:

Regenerative Development uses the term ‘partners’ (Reed, 2007) to describe the members of an ecological system in the sense of partners in the business of creating the conditions that support healthy life in the place they co-inhabit. In this biocentric perspective, value is defined in terms of benefits to life. Adding value to an ecological system means increasing its systemic capability to generate, sustain and evolve increasingly higher orders of vitality and viability for the life of a particular place.  - Pamela Mang & Bill Reed, "Nature of Positive," Building Research Information, 2014

RESILIENCE:

Resilience starts from the belief that humans and nature are strongly coupled to the point that they should be conceived as one social-ecological system. This means that in our globalized society, there are virtually no ecosystems that are not shaped by people and no people without the need for ecosystems and the services they provide.  - Stockholm Resilience Centre, 2019: https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/research-news/2015-02-19-what-is-resilience.html)

RESILIENT DESIGN:

[A] measure of the persistence of systems and of their ability to absorb change and disturbance and still maintain the same relationships between populations or state variables.  - C. S. Holling, "Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems," 1973

Resilience is the capacity to adapt to changing conditions and to maintain or regain functionality and vitality in the face of stress or disturbance.   - The Resilient Design Institute, 2020

RESTORATIVE DESIGN:

This approach thinks about design in terms of using the activities of design and building to restore the capability of local natural systems to a healthy state of self-organization.  - Richard Graves, 2020

[A] design system that combines returning “polluted, degraded or damaged sites back to a state of acceptable health through human intervention” with biophilic designs that reconnect people to nature.  - Pamela Mang and Bill Reed, "Regenerative Development and Design, Research Gate, 2011

SUSTAINABLE DESIGN:

Sustainable design seeks to reduce negative impacts on the environment, and the health and comfort of building occupants, thereby improving building performance.  - U.S. General Services Administration, Sustainability, 2020

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:

Development which reaches a point of being able to sustain the health of the planet’s organisms and systems over time.  - Richard Graves, 2020 

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  - Bruntland Report, Our Common Future, 1987

SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEM:

Consists of 'a bio-geo-physical' unit and its associated social actors and institutions. Social-ecological systems are complex and adaptive and delimited by spatial or functional   boundaries surrounding particular ecosystems and their context problems. - Richard Graves, 2020

SYSTEMS THINKING:

“Systems thinking is “contextual,” which is the opposite of analytical thinking. Analysis means taking something apart in order to understand it; systems thinking means putting it into the context of a larger whole.” - Fritjof Capra, The Systems View of Life, 2014

VALUE ADDING:

Adding value to an ecological system means increasing its systemic capability to generate, sustain and evolve increasingly higher orders of vitality and viability for the life of a particular place.  - Pamela Mang and Bill Reed, "Nature of Positive," Building Research Information, 2014

Expand all

SELECT GUIDES

Select Biophilic & Sustainable Design Guides

The "Select Guides" include a variety of resources for biphilic, net-positive, and sustainable design. 

SELECT ARTICLES

Select Articles & Reports

The "Select Articles" include recent articles and reports for biophilic, net-positive, and sustainable design.