Date of Submission
Bachelor of Architecture
Edwin Akins II
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that we spend 93 percent of our time indoors. For decades, the design of space has kept exterior environments separate from the interior conditions we have engineered for ourselves. This design process limits our ability to interact with other forms of life. According to Stephen Kellert’s principles of biophilic design, which defines an innate desire to interact with other forms of life, it is imperative that our spaces be designed to interact with each other and nature on an intimate and spiritual level. As humans have a hard-wired tendency to seek out relationships with other forms of life, our dwellings should facilitate those relationships through bio-based design. Bio-based design is the integration of building systems to form mutualistic relationships between the building, occupant, and environment. It prioritizes systems-thinking over machine-thinking through biophilic and biomimetic lenses. We must reevaluate the design of the contemporary dwelling to develop the relationship between humans and their place within the natural environment. Design focusing on the integration of a bio-based framework will enhance human connection to nature, stimulate well-being, and facilitate socialization within the residential community as the relationship between living, learning, and working environments evolve.
My thesis will redefine housing to strengthen the connection between humans and nature within a residential environment, challenging both the site and building to intensify biomimetic principles through connections with nature in the built environment from the design of a building’s form to optimize the application of passive systems and use of materials which help reinforce our natural desire to interact with other forms of life. The spatial relationships will be prioritized as a bio-based system and integrate building systems which serve to better the environment.