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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

'Biophillic Design: The Architecture of Life' DVD: Doc on Living the Way Nature Intended

Product Details
The Icarus Films April 19, 2016 DVD release of the Bullfrog Films production "Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life" is an excellent addition to the "innovative and provocative documentary films" in the Icarus catalog. Director/talking head Stephen R. Kellert literally wrote the book on the subject.

Said topic is the lack of madness regarding the methods utilized to design and build commercial, institutional, and residential structures that use natural products and provide the occupants a sense of their actual environment.

The following YouTube clip of a "Biophilic" trailer utilizes Kellert and a few of his fellow experts to concisely communicate the concept of their style of building and of the importance of following that model. The pretty images and pleasant background music are bonuses.


The film explains that this innovative approach to providing space in which to work, learn, and live reflects the fundamental truth that depriving humans of their basic need to remain connected with nature is harmful. A more shallow way of thinking of this is that buildings made of wood that have large windows and numerous plants looks pretty and is much nicer than being surrounded by concrete and ceiling tiles and having humming fluorescent bulbs provide most of your light.

One of the coolest segments in "Design" focuses on a (of course) Vermont company that builds beautiful homes that nicely blend into their surroundings in a very shireesque manner. Another segment discusses the biophilic elements of the well-known Falling Waters house by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

"Designs" further shows how Yale University puts its money where its mouth is regarding using wood from the surrounding forest for the building that houses an environmental studies department. We additionally visit an entire community that takes the biophilic concept to heart.

A minor criticism of the film is the occasional use of statistics to support the case for biophilic design. We all know that numbers can lie, and stating that studies show that employees are more productive and that students learn better when surrounded by nature is akin to "finding" a correlation between levels of hunger and a desire for candy.

Very consistently with the biolphilic philosophy, this film provides wonderful images of bright airy buildings at a time that many of us are starting to appreciate being able to open our windows and enjoy the sun staying out longer.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Biophilic" is encouraged to email me; you can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy,