Since the earliest civilizations, nature served as humans’ natural habitat, providing shelter, food, and remedies. Fast forward to modern days, the industrial and technological revolutions took over, reshaping the way humans interact with nature. The term ‘biophilia’ translates to ‘the love of living things’ in ancient Greek ( philia = the love of / inclination towards). Although the term seems relatively new and is gradually trending in the fields of architecture and interior design, biophilia was first used by psychologist Erich Fromm in 1964, then popularized by biologist Edward O Wilson in the 1980’s, when he detected how urbanization is leading to a disconnection with nature.
You may have heard of the “sick building syndrome” where the actual building we live and work in is making us sick. There are a mass of chemicals that are hidden in the paint we use, the cushions and chairs we sit on, the clothes we wear, the carpets we walk on… it can cause everything from coughs, allergies, skin problems, dry eyes, right down to cancers and inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract.
At home we can do what we can to reduce our exposure to these aggravating chemicals, we change our paint, we remove some plastics and man-made materials, we replace our cleaning products with natural alternatives, we put in plants, the open the windows, we use light bulbs that give off less gas, we swap plastic tables for untreated wood ones.