The Architecture of Life
A design revolution that connects buildings to the natural world, buildings where people feel and perform better.
A film by Stephen R. Kellert and Bill Finnegan
Camera, Editor: Bill Finnegan
Writers: Stephen Kellert, Bill Finnegan
Narrators: Stephen Kellert, Florence Miller
Original Music Composed, Performed and Recorded by: Peter Land and Jaime Garamella
Chopin's Raindrop Prelude performed by Emily Copeland
Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature.
"Essential viewing for policy makers, planners, designers and anyone engaged in re-designing the future." Bryony Schwan, Executive Director, The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute
The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development.
Come on a journey from our evolutionary past and the origins of architecture to the world's most celebrated buildings in a search for the architecture of life. Together, we will encounter buildings that connect people and nature--hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children's test scores are higher, offices where workers are more productive, and communities where people know more of their neighbors and families thrive.
Featured are communities and buildings from Scandinavia, Germany, France and Britain to the Canadian and American northwest, American southwest, and New England. They include: California Academy of Sciences, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Fallingwater, Viaduc des Arts, Google/YouTube Headquarters, Sahlgrenska Hospital (Psychiatric Department), High Point (Seattle Housing Authority), Johnson Wax Building, Sidwell Friends Middle School, Oxford Museum of Natural History, Village Homes (Davis, CA), and Kroon Hall (Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies).
Amongst those interviewed are: Edward O. Wilson, Bill McDonough, Judi Heerwagen, Jason McLennan, Tim Beatley, Bill Browning, Bert Gregory, Kent Bloomer, Claire Cooper Marcus, Michael Taylor, David Orr, Gus Speth, and Richard Louv.
Biophilic Design points the way toward creating healthy and productive habitats for modern humans.
US Release Date: 2012
Copyright Date: 2011
DVD ISBN: 1-93777-210-1
"Biophilic Design extends the theory and practice of green building into a new dimension--the realm of human connection with nature and sense of place. If designers and planners want to create truly sustainable places that people will love and care for now and many generations to come, they need to give this film their close attention. We are using it as an important resource for teaching in our college."
Louise Chawla, Professor, College of Architecture and Planning, University of Colorado, Editor and co-Author, Growing Up in an Urbanizing World
"At a time when our society faces such extraordinary environmental and social challenges because of our separation from nature, this film is a breath of fresh air and takes us on journey of possibility and hope. This inspiring film features some of the leading visionaries in architecture and design, people who understand the real world need to design residential and commercial buildings and cities that are not only functional but feed our souls by reconnecting us to nature. Biophilic Design is essential viewing for policy makers, planners, designers and anyone engaged in re-designing the future."
Bryony Schwan, Executive Director, The Biomimicry 3.8 Institute
"Natural environments are not amenities, and they are not mere 'resources' or quaint luxuries. They are essential to human mental, physical and social well-being, most urgently for our children. Stephen Kellert has yoked health and environment in a new and powerful way for all who view Biophilic Design."
Dr. Richard Jackson, Pediatrician, Professor and Chair, Environmental Health Sciences, University of California-Los Angeles
"I was truly impressed with, as well as inspired by Biophilic Design.... [It] should be a required part of any design curriculum, not just for architects but also for engineers, interior designers, and even landscape architects. I can also see practicing designers using the film as an effective tool in talking with clients about the value of using 'the poetry we find in nature' for many different kinds of projects. I can see Biophilic Design extending beyond the design community. It will resonate with and inspired anyone remotely interested in the intersection of nature and design."
Naomi Sachs, ASLA, EDAC, Founder and Director, Therapeutic Landscapes Network
"This film goes well beyond the current concern with `green' building design...Provides convincing evidence from a wide range of types of settings that the reintroduction of nature into our everyday living environment profoundly impacts our individual health and well-being...Biophilic design could be a critical step in fostering a necessary societal level change of consciousness: through the broad reintroduction of nature into human habitats citizens will be more likely to become aware of their love of, and mutual connectedness with, nature and become passionate advocates for global change in how we work to sustain life on earth."
Roger Hart, Director, The Children's Environments Research Group, Professor, Environmental and Developmental Psychology and Earth and Environmental Sciences, City University of New York
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Includes SDH captions for the deaf and hard-of hearing, and scene selection. Also, in PDF format on DVD-ROM portion of the disc, an educational viewing guide and locations featured with live links to more information.
The Film's Website
Awards and Festivals
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Greenbuild Film Festival
Architecture and Design Film Festival
Urban and Regional Planning
|The Next Industrial Revolution|
Architect Bill McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart bring together ecology and human design.
2-part series based on the book Biomimicry - a new science that studies nature 's best ideas and then imitates these designs and processes to solve human problems.
The Greening of Southie
The story of Boston's first LEED-certified residential green building, and the people who made it possible.
David Suzuki reports on a wide range of green buildings, from large community developments to mini-homes.
New structures in seven North American Native communities that reinterpret traditional forms for contemporary purposes.
Architect I.M. Pei returns to his home city of Suzhou, China to build a modern museum that complements the architecture of the 2,500 year-old city and sets a course for modern Chinese architecture.
Community by Design
Good design of houses and neighborhoods builds community.
Designing A Great Neighborhood
A model co-housing project, where future residents participate in the design of their own neighborhood.
Subdivide and Conquer
Suburban sprawl: causes and remedies.
Save Our Land, Save Our Towns
Examines the causes and effects of -- and then remedies for -- suburban sprawl.
How growth and sprawl affect the quality of life in New England, and some possible solutions.
Edens Lost and Found
4-part series that highlights models for urban transformation in the effort to make Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Seattle into sustainable cities.