10 TED talks about biophilia, biophilic design, and how to make our cities greener

10 TED talks about biophilia, biophilic design, and how to make our cities greener

The biophilia hypothesys suggests that humans have a natural tendency to seek connections with nature. In the videos below, watch how biophilic design can improve our health and wellbeing by bringing more nature into our cities


People are realizing (and science is showing) more and more that spending time in nature has a restorative power, relieves stress, improves our mood and can even accelerate the healing of physical and psychological traumas.

In the 10 TED talks below, learn more about Biophilia directly from specialists in the field. Discover how biophilic design and green architecture are inspiring initiatives to bring more nature to our cities and how that is already bringing positive transformations to the lives of many people. 

If you want to learn more about biophilia, its meaning and applications, have a look at our complete guide about the subject. There you’ll find definitions,  scientific evidences, and practices to help you include more nature in your life and make the best of what is already around you. I guarantee you’ll be surprised (and inspired!) by the benefits nature can bring to our wellbeing!


* Note: All video descriptions below are citations from the originals and were not written by Zen-living.org.

Owen Bjorgan – The Biophilic World 

“In this inspiring talk, Owen walks us through his adventure spent hiking the 885 kilometer-long Bruce Trail in Southern Ontario, Canada when he was only 20 years old. He tells the significance of this legendary hike and helps connect all of us with the natural world”

Bianca Bodley – Integrating nature into urban environments

“This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. What if cities were more ‘jungle’ than ‘concrete jungle’? What if nature and urban environments were seamlessly integrated?”

Bryn Davidson – Green buildings are more than brick and mortar

“Creating ‘greener’ buildings will help address climate change… right? Green buildings can make a difference, but only if we start asking the right questions. If we can start to see the whole story of how our buildings impact the climate then we can start to make strides toward real ‘net-positive’ change. The technology isn’t new, the strategies aren’t rocket science – the hard step is shifting our thinking about what it means to build ‘green’ “.

Tom Bassett-Dilley – Beyond Passive House: The Nature Connection

“While energy efficiency is a critical component of sustainability, its application must be guided by principles of health and beauty. This talk introduces the emerging design field of biophilia, the inherent human-nature connection, and show examples of building designs that embody both ultra-efficiency and biophilic design”.

Craig Jarvis – A different approach to sustainable housing

“It’s easy to see why we focus on energy efficiency, says architectural designer Craig Jarvis — but that’s the symptom, not the problem. It’s time for a new approach to building, one that puts people, and our connection with nature, at the heart of what we do”.

Bjarke Ingels – Hedonistic Sustainability

“Bjarke Ingels wows the audience with his wit and unlikely architectural solutions around the globe. Prepare to be dazzled”.

Bjarke Ingels: 3 warp-speed architecture tales

“Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature — they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy — and creating stunning views”.

Elora Hardy – Magical houses, made of bamboo

“You’ve never seen buildings like this. The stunning bamboo homes built by Elora Hardy and her team in Bali twist, curve and surprise at every turn. They defy convention because the bamboo itself is so enigmatic. No two poles of bamboo are alike, so every home, bridge and bathroom is exquisitely unique. In this beautiful, immersive talk, she shares the potential of bamboo, as both a sustainable resource and a spark for the imagination. “We have had to invent our own rules,” she says”.

Bill McDonald – Pre-Fab Passive House 

“What if buildings could realize energy independence, resulting in 90% less energy household consumption, increasing the quality of life, indoor air quality, occupant comfort with one main difference? The entire build envelope is built off-site in a quality controlled semi-automated facility”.

Marc Kushner – Why the buildings of the future will be shaped by… you

“”Architecture is not about math or zoning — it’s about visceral emotions,” says Marc Kushner. In a sweeping — often funny — talk, he zooms through the past thirty years of architecture to show how the public, once disconnected, have become an essential part of the design process. With the help of social media, feedback reaches architects years before a building is even created. The result? Architecture that will do more for us than ever before”.

We hope you enjoyed the videos and got inspired to bring nature more and more to our urban environments! As always, don’t forget to share your opinions and thoughts with us!

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