Beyond Plants: Biophilic Design as a Pedagogical Tool

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The International Journal of Design Education






Biophilia has emerged as a relevant concept for design. The concept of biophilic design involves the integration of nature-based features to support wellbeing, which has created the need for guidance on how to identify and apply biophilic design features in interior environments. The Biophilic Interior Design Matrix (BID-M) was created for this purpose. This exploration involved using the BID-M as a pedagogical tool in an interior design undergraduate studio course. This article also shares student experiences with incorporating biophilic design into their studio project. The senior students were divided between two classrooms in a quasi-experimental method. Both classrooms were introduced to biophilic design. One classroom was further guided using the biophilic design attributes in the BID-M throughout the project. All students used the BID-M for a self-analysis of their final design solutions. The result of the comparative analysis showed there were varied perceptions between the two classrooms. The group using the BID-M’s list of biophilic design attributes showed increased perceptions of importance, confidence and knowledge of biophilic design. Biophilic design also offered benefits to all students’ design process and facilitated ideation and concept development. The students shared that the BID-M was a helpful pedagogical tool for biophilic integration. The students also suggested earlier integration of the BID-M in the curriculum and saw themselves using the BID-M in practice as a conceptual and design development aid.


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