©EDSA | Insights | Building Exterior at Night


©EDSA | Insights | Water Fountain

Your parents were right – you do need to get outside. According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, humans spend over 90% of their lives indoors. No surprise, then, that much of design is dedicated to interiors, or that discussions about integrating nature into built environments typically center around ‘bringing the outdoors in’. As landscape architects, planners, and designers of the future, EDSA’s role is to do the opposite: Thoughtfully connect interior elements to the great outdoors in ways that seem sensible, yet innovative – creative, yet comfortable – and in doing so transform projects from mere ‘plantings’ into benchmarks of biophilic design that people want to be a part of.

For outdoor design to be truly biophilic, it requires more than adding a dash of green here, a burbling water feature there. Rather, it is the art of intertwining organic and manmade elements so that they coexist in harmony with one another and lure people to experience them. Animated through patterns, hardscape, foliage and materiality, as well as a combination of direct and indirect lighting and ventilation components, EDSA’s formula for successful biophilic design draws upon multiple sensory layers to seamlessly connect people, the indoors, and the surrounding natural environment.

©EDSA | Insights | Woman Looking Out at Treetops From Balcony

Rooftop gardens, green walls, or the simple curvature of a site furnishing are among many aesthetic elements of biophilic design. But, to create these networks of restorative spaces, designers must inherently understand the physical, psychological, and social comforts associated with landscape architecture. The white noise of chirping birdsong, the salty spray of the ocean, or the mesmerizing ripples of natural wood can all subtlety evoke memories that build instinctual connections and establish the framework for places where people want to be.

For EDSA, biophilic design begins with a deep understanding of the eco-systems at work on a site, followed by the incorporation of sustainably produced, local materials; the highlighting of viewsheds to emphasize particular sights and scenes; and designing with nature’s textures and colors. Result? Studies have shown that biophilic design leads to quicker patient recovery and respite in healthcare centers, more receptive learning on educational campuses, boosts in purchasing at retail spaces, and increased workplace activity all around.

©EDSA | Insights | Treetops

As buildings grow into connected micro-destinations and prioritizing the pedestrian experience becomes commonplace, biophilic design helps facilitate more comprehensive placemaking strategies to ensure that the changing world has access and availability to resilient, purposeful, and flourishing outdoor spaces. Now, who’s up for a walk?