BIOPHILIC DESIGN? A STUDY OF EMOTION,
INFLUENCES AND PERCEPTIONS OF
FURNITURE DESIGN WITH LIVING
Nurul ‘Ayn Ahmad Sayuti
Assoc. Prof. Carlos Montana Hoyos &
Prof. Elivio Bonollo
University of Canberra
o Furniture Design
o Biophilia Theory
o Biophilic Design
o Emotional Design
Related Previous Research
Initial Observation – Typology &
Questionnaires – Design & Preview
This study aims to explore the
influences of furniture designers, as
well as perceptions by potential
users, in regards to Furniture
Designs with Living Organisms
(FDLO), within the discipline of
A literature review has unveiled a
gap in knowledge, as no studies
have been found which address
biophilia or biophilic design
specifically within furniture design.
1. What are the relationships
between biophilia theory and
emotional design in furniture
design with living organisms?
2. What are the criteria to classify
the current examples of furniture
with living organisms?
3. Why did designers embed living
organisms in furniture design?
4. How do people perceive furniture
designs with living organisms?
Definitions of main topics:
Biophilia by E.O.Wilson (1984, p 1) :
“The innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike process.”
The main proposal of this theory is that people have an innate
feeling to connect with nature and living organisms.
Biophilia theory proposes reactions and behaviours of human
beings towards their environment and how the surroundings
affect their daily life.
Definitions of main topics:
“Biophilic design is the deliberate attempt to translate an
understanding of the inherent human affinity to affiliate with
natural systems and processes – known as biophilia into the
design of built environment.” (Kellert et al, 2008) .
Recent studies have proven the
benefits of nature in the built
environment, for people’s health and
wellbeing (Kellert et al, 2008; Huelat et
al, 2008; Park et al, 2009; Beatley, 2010;
Reeve et al, 2012; Tracada, 2012; Reeve et
al, 2013; Newman, 2014; Ryan et al, 2014;
Terrapin, 2014; Zydervelt, 2014).
Studies on biophilia theory have
usually been conducted in the fields
•Environment and behaviour
•Urban planning and landscape
Related Previous Research in Biophilia
Studies in applications of the
Biophilia theory have demonstrated
the benefits that nature brings in the
built environment brings to health
and wellbeing of people.
A literature review evidenced a gap
in knowledge, as no studies were
found which address Biophilia or
Biophilic design within furniture
Based on compilation and
classification of at least 235 FDLO, a
typology to understand FDLOs was
Four main categories of FDLO were
identified which comprise
A: Function and practicality,
B: Aesthetic and Semantic,
This typology is useful tool to
understand this type of furniture ,
and is informing the empirical
research of this project.