Documentary about Biophillic Design Features Arcosanti

Bill Finnegan came by and took some footage of Arcosanti for his documentary about Biophilic Design. Finnegan has a production company called Tamarack Media.

Biophilic Design is a term coined by the neo-Darwinian ecologist E O Wilson who has sought to demonstrate the links that humans have with their environment and consider design processes that reinforce more conscious living through Biophilic Design.

Biophilic Design is quite similar to Ecological Design concept developed by Sim Van Der Ryn and also the Biomimicry concept developed by Janine Beynus, but with a focus on how buildings call actually promote more thoughtful interactions with nature.

The documentary is a companion to the book published by Wiley and editted by Stephen R. Kellert, Judith Heerwagen and Martin Mador titled Biophilic Design : The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life.

From the blog post about Biophilic Design:

Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life is an incredible new resource from Wiley to advance the art and science of this emerging design practice in architecture. As the book states, “Biophilic design is a new approach to sustainable development that incorporates the positive experience of nature into the design of the built environment.”

Chapter 2: The Nature of Human Nature (Edward O. Wilson)Chapter 3: A Good Place to Settle: Biomimicry, Biophilia, and the Return of Nature’s Inspiration to Architecture (Janine Benyus)

Chapter 12: The Extinction of Natural Experience in the Built Environment (Robert Pyle and David Orr)

Chapter 13: Biophilia and Sensory Aesthetics (Judith Heerwagen and Bert Gregory)

Chapter 17: Towards Biophilic Cities: Strategies for Integrating Nature into Urban Design (Tim Beatley)

Chapter 19: The Greening of the Brain (Pliny Fisk)

Chapter 22: Transforming Building Practices through Biophilic Design (Jenifer Seal Cramer and William Browning)

Chapter 23: Reflections on Implementing Biophilic Design (Robert Fox and Robert Berkebile)

Related Articles and Research:


Setting the Stage for Group Motion

Group Motion comes to Arcosanti for five days. Const team (including me) set up stage on friday. Then we weeded the long abandoned volleyball field. On Mon its back to the sidewalk…

Fri was also a Big day for Dixon and Jenn in planning. They on the second attempt completed a successful fabrication of a concrete countertop that will go in crafts III residential bathroom.

On Sat I met Dale from Austin. He is very perceptive about Arcosanti, seeing many things very early that it takes many a lot longer to figure out. We discussed the project’s entrepreneurial roots. Related to that we wondered why they dont teach about selling art in art school.

Arcosanti is of course unique in that it is a place created by a artist visionary that combines aspects of art, architecture, entrepreneurism and philosophy. We considered the reality that there are not really many such places started and wondered why… Yet at Arcosanti it seems there is little support for such things rather it is all promoting Soleri’s futurist vision of Arcology – even though Soleri says the “future does not exist.

The lesson learned for me is that a place like Arcosanti would be best focused on how to train the people coming their so that they could replicate the success of the founder or founders of the project rather than worry about the legacy of the founder and putting forward what might come across to many as a pie in the sky vision that has little if any practical connection with the everyday reality of the project!