Biophilia (‘Bio’ = living beings, ‘philia’ = Love for) is an ancient phenomenon going back to our time as Hunter-Gatherers, but only recently defined by Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson, as an ‘Innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world’ (1984).
The ‘Biophilic Garden’ is an installation in a public space (the Winter Garden, Sheffield) which demonstrates these principles and enables visitors to reflect on their own relationship to the natural world, via 5 pathways to nature connection – senses, beauty, emotion, meaning and compassion.
The installation contains two areas representing a ‘Woodland’ and ‘Mountain’ archetype, containing plants typically associated with those habitats. These include tactile and fragrant plants that humans have adopted for sensory, medicinal or spiritual purposes. The planting is augmented through use of QR codes and image markers which visitors can use to trigger additional information via their own mobile phones.
Soundscape in Winter Garden, bbc.co.uk © 2022 BBC
- Dr Chris Blackmore, School of Health and Related Research