Terrapin has been known to get a little overzealous when given the chance to research a new aspect of biophilia. Often, this translates into compiling way more information than we could possibly fit into a presentation or blog post. Recent efforts to prepare for Catie Ryan, Amanda Sturgeon, and Julia Africa’s Greenbuild session on “Biophilic Design Interactive: Research Tools and Tech” have proven no exception. So, rather than discard it, we thought we should make it available to those who dare to sift through the endless offshoots and subtopics emerging from advancements in consumer technologies.
VR and Design
Virtual and augmented reality technology have seen significant growth in design industries over the last few years. While current applications have been centered around post-design illustrations, recent advancements are allowing this technology to influence the process of design more generally. With immediate feedback on the effect of a new design element, designers can experiment with a more informed understanding of their impacts, both within the space, and to the surrounding community.
Crowdsourced Urban Planning
Crowdsourcing makes use of the billion-strong internet community to aggregate small contributions into large results. In the past, efforts have ranged from political revolution (Arab Spring) to humanitarian funding (Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc.). However, utilizing it’s funding and information gathering capabilities, crowdsourcing efforts have expanded to aspects of design and city planning allowing community members to take an active role in the development of their surroundings.
EEG and Brain-Computer Interface
If you’re like me, you’re equal parts excited and terrified about advancements in EEG monitoring capabilities. Maybe you’re ready to have your cognition and mental states visualized right before your eyes, but how about shared publicly on a social media platform. While we can all agree this is a frightening jump for society, it also presents opportunities to cater to personal well-being, and take a human-centered approach to decision-making.
Immersive Virtual Environments and Biophilia
To activate the physiological effects of exposure to nature, VR must integrate a symphony of multi-sensory feedback mimicking the complexity and depth found in nature. Imagine VR content that allows users to smell the fragrant flowers of a plumeria tree, hear the gentle flow of a nearby creek, or feel the slight pinch of a bird’s talons as it rests on your shoulder. VR capabilities are moving fast, and however far off this seems today, it may be possible sooner than we think.
Smart Spaces & IEQ
Do you ever feel like your workplace environment is actively fighting against your productivity and well-being? Creating a comfortable, healthy interior requires, not just initial design consideration, but also a heightened ability for spaces to monitor elements of comfort and adapt based on occupant and sensor feedback. Consumer IEQ sensors along with crowdsourcing apps are helping usher in a new era of human-centered design.
Header Image: MK Feeney/Flickr