June 2022
“Just being surrounded by bountiful nature, rejuvenates and inspires us.”
– E.O. Wilson (Theory of Biophilia)
As we place sensors throughout the District to capture thermal comfort data, and soon begin Phase 2 of Equitable Engagement to gain feedback from District users on streetscape and park amenities, its important to revisit our roots. Explore how and why we use biophilia to inform the design process. Also, learn about the SWMD team's new Pegasus Park office location!
Letting Nature Inspire Our Design
Biophilia Workshops: A Recap

As we embark on Phase 2 of the equitable engagement component of our project, consulting District users about streetscape and park amenities and programming, it seems important to revisit our experience with biophilic design and the consulting firm, Terrapin Bright Green to learn about opportunities and design interventions suggested by the consulting team.

Biophilic by Design: Let Nature be Your Guide

Biophilia, a term coined by the social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson outlines the philosophy of biophilia which hypothesizes that humans have an innate, biological affinity for the natural world. Importantly, research shows that there is a positive influence of greenery on human psychological and cognitive functioning; by using plants and their inherent shapes, colors, forms, and even smells to influence design; we can help to alleviate much of the inherent stressors District users experience on a daily basis.

L to R: Rose Jones, PhD, Research & Strategy in Urban Green Health; Lannie McClelen, Southwestern Medical District Program Manager; Marinda Griffin, Southwestern Medical District Urban Design Associate
We've Moved!

The SWMD team and the Texas Trees Foundation have moved! Check out Pegasus Park, a multi-floor space for nonprofits, philanthropies, and social impact organizations with 26 tenants and around 500 employees; its co-location that creates a space for change and impactful collaboration!

What We're Reading
Improving Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment

Theorists, research scientists, and design practitioners have been working for decades to define aspects of nature that most impact our satisfaction with the built environment. Biophilic design can not only reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, but also improve our well-being and expedite healing; as the world population continues to urbanize, these qualities are ever more important. This book articulates the relationships between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment, and moreover how we can experience the human benefits of biophilia in all our design applications.
The Practice of Biophilic Design

This book describes the basic principles, practices, and approaches for successfully implementing biophilic design, revealing best practices in by using examples of workplaces, healthcare facilities, schools, commercial centers, religious structures, and hospitality settings; its intended to appeal to architects, designers, engineers, and anyone interested in nature‑inspired spaces.

Stay Connected
In our efforts to expand engagement and stay connected, we've expanded to LinkedIn! If you are a current LinkedIn member, please like our new page. There you’ll find educational content, best practices, and updates on the District’s transformation.
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