Biophilic Life: Video Resources

There are many voices and perspectives on what encompasses a biophilic life or community. Here are links for some of these voices and their stories. If you’d like to suggest a video to include, email it to

Bosch Experience Center at Serenbe
One of the world’s largest private companies, Bosch has developed its first-ever experience center at Serenbe, Georgia just south of the Atlanta airport. The integrated use of geothermal, solar powered and other technolgies has created a better quality of life within the Serenbe community and serves as a model for those wanting a healthier life.

Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life
A three-minute trailer showcasing the documentary: “Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life” which describes what biophilic design is and what it’s purpose is. It includes ideas from authors such as Edward Wilson (Biophilia), Stephen Kellert (Biophilic Design), and Tim Beatley (Biophilic Cities). The film was created for The Kuala Lumpar Eco Film Fest held annually in hopes of building a more sustainable and ecologically conscious Malaysia.

What is Biophilia and What Does It Have to Do with Sustainability
This American Institute of Architects Continuing Education Systems course explains sustainability from an eco-systems perspective as the mutually beneficial relationship between human beings and the natural world; summarizes some of the benefits of human adaptation to nature in terms of Kellert’s Typology of Biophilic Values; and describes some of the general, developmental, and health benefits of human engagement with nature.

Front Lawns
Amanda Vandenburg, a student at Dickinson College, describes America’s current fixation on front lawns and what it takes to keep these front lawns in a manicured fashion. Front lawns consume large amounts of water, pesticides, and fossil fuels in order to maintain them. Vandenburg interviews faculty and staff at Dickinson to find the reason behind the vast green grass lawns at the College and what sustainable alternatives are available.

Traditional Lawn Vs. Attractive Front Yard Vegetable Garden
This quick, two-minute film compares a traditional grass lawn and a front yard vegetable garden. The benefits of a front yard vegetable garden include conserving water, keeping lawn maintenance low, and producing food.

Catherine Mohr Builds Green
Catherine Mohr, Director of Medical Research at Intuitive Surgical, speaks at TED about building green and what steps should be taken to reduce the amount of embodied energy during construction. She states, “It is sometimes the things that you are not expecting to be the biggest changes that are”.

Ron Finley: A Guerilla Gardener in South Central LA
Ron Finley, an individual who realized the lack of fresh foods available in South Central Los Angeles, went out of his way to redevelop the unused public spaces such as vacant lots into gardens of opportunity. With these gardens he creates an area where communities can get their hands dirty and learn about nutrition and gardening. This TED Talk describes his goal to reach out to kids and “flip the script on what a gangsta is – if you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t a gangsta”.

Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting Suburbia
Ellen Dunham-Jones, director of Georgia Tech’s Master of Science in Urban Design program and professor of architecture and urban design, describes in this TED Talk the new task of retrofitting suburbia to meet the increasing demand for urban lifestyles within suburbia. Dunham-Jones identifies specific places where there has been successful suburban retrofitting to achieve greater community, economic, and ecological development.

Leyla Acaroglu: Paper Beats Plastic? How to Rethink Environmental Folklore
Most people want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment. But things aren’t as simple as opting for the paper bag says sustainability strategist Leyla Acaroglu. This TED Talk is a bold call to let go of tightly-held green myths and think bigger in order to create systems and products that ease strain on the planet.

Mike Biddle: We Can Recycle Plastic
Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled — compared to almost 90% of metals — because of the massively complicated problem of finding and sorting the different kinds. Frustrated by this waste, Mike Biddle in this Ted Talk explains how he developed a cheap and incredibly energy efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic.

Bill Gates on Energy: Innovating to Zero!
At TED2010, Bill Gates unveiled his vision for the world’s energy future, describing the need for “miracles” to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he’s backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050.

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