The Nature of Wood
An exploration of the science on biophilic responses to wood
Mass timber construction is gaining attention in the architectural world. Timber construction can have significant benefits in reducing the embodied carbon footprint of buildings. Another major reason for the attention to mass timber likely is that we perceive wood to be natural and beautiful. In the design sphere, an awareness of the physiological and psychological impacts of wood products and structures is beginning to take hold. By asking why we love wood, The Nature of Wood explores the science of having a ‘biophilic’ response to wood, sheds light on topics in need of more in-depth research, and highlights a few perspectives on how to think of wood in terms of optimizing design for the user experience.
This report is made possible with the support of Forestry Innovation Investment of British Columbia and Softwood Lumber Board of Oregon. The opinions and conclusions in this report are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.
Bill Browning, Terrapin Bright Green
Catie Ryan, Terrapin Bright Green
Claire DeMarco, Catholic University of America
William D. Browning, Catherine O. Ryan, & Claire DeMarco (2022). The nature of wood, an exploration of the science on biophilic responses to wood. New York: Terrapin Bright Green, LLC. http://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/report/the-nature-of-wood