January 2003: "Bio-Inspired Design: What Can We Learn from Nature?"

Author: Judith H Heerwagen, Ph.D (J.H. Heerwagen & Associates, Inc.)

This article focuses on the "forms and sensory attributes of nature that hold special psychological significance." Understanding the stimuli that attract human beings to certain environments and cause them to avoid others can lead to designs that more effectively trigger an appropriate emotional response. The article explores the implications of the "savannah hypothesis" as well as the prospect-refuge theory. The relationship of natural elements to health is discussed, as well as the impact of lighting. Lastly, the article proposes additional areas for study in "general characteristics of living organisms and life-like processes that could form the basis for bio-inspired design."

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