BIOPHILIC DESIGN: WHY DO DESIGNERS INCORPORATE LIVING ORGANISMS IN FURNITURE DESIGN?
Editor: Elies Dekoninck, Andrew Wodehouse, Chris Snider, Georgi Georgiev, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Nurul 'Ayn Ahmad Sayuti, Carlos Alberto Montana-Hoyos, Elivio Bonollo
Section: BIO-INSPIRED CREATIVITY
Biophilia theory proposes that human beings have an innate tendency to connect with nature. Biophilic design is Biophilia applied to the design of the built environment. A survey of the literature found a gap in the application of Biophilic Design to furniture design. Thus, this study aimed to understand the relationships between Biophilic design and Furniture Designs with Living Organisms (FDLOs). This paper discusses the results of interviews with designers of FDLOs. Moreover, this paper discusses the development of a conceptual model to identify and categorise the rationale behind why designers embedded living organisms into furniture design, based on a typology of 235 FDLOs (incorporating plants, animals, and insects). The conceptual model was also tested through an online survey along with a brief explanation of the preferences, perceptions and emotional responses towards selected FDLOs, by participants in the study. Main findings of the study are in relation to the intentions of the FDLO designers for embedding living organisms in furniture, which were found to be predominantly for functional and experiential purposes, rather than for experimentation, or simply as an aesthetic pursuit.