Biophilic Lighting is well known for recognizing the health benefits of natural light and is used more extensively in: interior design, architecture and urban design. In architecture industries, Biophilic lighting plays an important role by incorporating the use of natural light into interior spaces to reconnect people with nature. Biophilia is a hypothesis which suggests that humans tend to seek connections with nature which translates to “love of life,” is of the successful method of reconnecting people with nature, first introduced in 1984 by Edward O. Wilson, in his book, ”The Biophilia Hypothesis” where he defines Biophilia as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” Successful application of Biophilic Design in urban areas has developed a great relationship between nature and people and has improved their wellbeing. This method of using Biophilic Design has become an innovative way to develop a connection with nature by introducing illustrations of nature, natural patterns and spatial conditions into the built environment.
A book published in 2001”Biologic Effects of Light” by Michael F. Holick, describes the use of natural light as therapeutic in modern architecture occurred in 1927 with the design of architect Richard Neutra’s ”Health House” (See Figure 6) which was the Lovell House designed for Dr Lovell. In the mid-19th century Florence Nightingale, who was known for pioneering modern nursing, began to promote the health benefits of light in houses and hospitals. Furthermore, her work started to encourage hospitals to redesign their interior space allowing sunlight into the rooms and halls, and included the use of open balconies to allow the patients to have more sunlight exposure. Florence Nightingale’s achievement in promoting natural light and the health qualities of light influenced some of the famous Architects like Frank Lloyd Wright and Le Corbusier, in the 1890s, who began to design to incorporate the health qualities of light and air.
They also incorporated natural environments to develop a stronger connection with nature such as Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water is a building that he designed to be compatible with nature, by blending the architecture structure with natural surroundings. (See figure 7) He also designed a corner window, to bring more natural light into the interior. (See figure 8) The architecture of falling water by Frank Lloyd Wright is defined as a freedom and democracy basically better than the ordinary buildings.
Biophilic Lighting is a great idea to improve wellbeing in workspaces and homes and can develop a healthy connection with nature. Furthermore maintaining your body’s natural rhythms, by using natural cycles of light to regulate your circadian rhythm is vital to maintaining good health.
There are Biophilic lighting technologies that can have an impact on Wellbeing. Helvar technology is a company who offer a light-sensitive system for homes that responds to real-time changes in sunlight to control interior blinds and lights automatically. (See Figure 9)
Furthermore the use of glass internally and structurally as well as in windows, glass panels and doors can make a huge difference in a dark gloomy space by allowing more natural light to get deeper inside the house. For example Bisca glass stairwells is a company that designs and manufactures stairwells, that promote the use of natural light by using glass in their stairwells to prevent light being blocked. (See Figure 10)
It is now possible to bring the beneficial qualities of natural light into the workspace with or without windows, we can now use LED lighting to simulate natural light, and biomimicry recognizes the potential innovation of technology and product development. Through the use of LED technology capabilities, we can attempt to simulate the features and dynamic qualities of natural light such as brightness, colour and contrast. Using Biomimicry we can mimic the Rhythm of a natural lights patterns like the sunrise and sunset, and these are the methods that we can create a design solutions to improve people’s Circadian Rhythms and develop better light therapy products.
Engineer and designer Julian Melchiorri use the biomimicry method to create the first living object which continuously grows though biologically-driven depurative functions. Designed to purify the air Julian Melchiorri defines the used of biotechnology through everyday objects and promotes an increase in the quality of our lives. The chandelier contains 70 ‘petals’ in 3 different sizes, each petal contains green algae, (See Figure 12) that purifies air indoors through photosynthesis by living microalgae that absorb carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen place inside leaf modules, which are activated by a mix of natural light and LED, and sustained by a drip-feed of nutrients.
Over the last few years, Julian Melchiorri focused on the biotechnology and on the new field of biomimicry which becomes a new field of science and engineering were inspired by nature and mimicking natural technologies. Julian Melchiorri harnesses the value from the natural technologies and uses organisms to apply on his bionic leaves that he designed to clean up the atmosphere from carbon dioxide and air pollution and convert with the sunlight into a breathable air.
The bionic leaves or the biotechnology that Julian Melchiorri designed can also adapt and apply into land and rooftops of large industrial buildings or facades of the buildings. Julian Melchiorri Exhale won the 2017 Emerging Talent Medal and it was display at the Victoria and Albert Museum during the London Design Festival (16-24 September 2017). (See Figure 13)