Biopilia: Neuroscience and The Artist

Biopilia: Neuroscience and The Artist

by Diana Mogensen


Biophilia, a research based school of design, blends the art of design with neurosciences.

Research shows lighting, color, plants, natural materials, air flow,  temperature, even the art on our  walls  impacts our overall health.


Biophilic Design nurtures in us a love of space.

To be healthful, interior spaces should connect us with nature.  Visual, auditory and haptic connections cement our relationship to interior spaces. These connectors interplay in complex ways in the built environment.


Visuals connectors:   Plants, natural lighting, paintings and photographs depicting nature are important visual elements.  Research shows that five minutes of exposure to visual connectors to nature result in a drop in blood pressure, focus and alertness improve. Five minutes of exposure to nature increases healing in hospital settings.


The artist may play a crucial role in providing indoor spaces with healing, calming replications of nature.  A painting of nature can have the same cognitive, emotional and physiological effects as a green wall indoors. Of course, a painting of a tree and running water cannot clean the air in a room like a green wall can, nonetheless, the effects are remarkable, all other positive effects are present, however.


Artist: Marleen Vermeulen. See her exhibition at the Kabakoff Gallery.

The psychology of color is also an important area of Biophilic design.


Angles which are hard, sharp and not found in nature coupled with colors alien to nature create too much energy and even anxiety in an indoor space. A painting or a piece of art can cause a space to feel chaotic and uncomfortable.    Conversely, colors and subject matter depicting natural, organic lines and shapes is calming and restorative.


Research demonstrates the efficacy of Biophilia and the  artists powerful role impacting the human condition.   It is important to know that a work of art can promote or diminish varying degrees:


  • mental agility ,memory, cognition, adaptability, alertness, concentration , impact  emotions, reduce  anxiety and anger, muscular and skeletal systems  become healthier, stress hormones and blood pressure declines, promote healing


There will be many examples of Biophilic art on display at the Art!Vancouver Fair 2018  to explore.    


If you’d like to learn more about Biophilic research you may contact Diana at: Diana is currently in private practice  as a designer and an educator.


1 Comment

  1. Marty Dolan

    Hi Diana,

    This is both an informative and inspiring article!
    Thank you for sharing the research-I’m looking at my environs in a very different way. This from someone who thought her awareness of art (everywhere & anywhere) was keen.


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