Call for Papers: Biophilic Design and Architecture

Antonio Caperna

by Antonio Caperna

The Journal of Biourbanism (JBU) is an open peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary, international online journal, and the official journal of the International Society of Biourbanism (ISB).


Picking up a word coined by Edward Wilson, we define biophilic that kind of architecture, which is capable to supply our inborn need of connection to life and to vital processes. Environmental psychology shows that these features have positive effects on human functioning and can reduce stress (1).

In particular, the biophilic space is therefore an environment that strengthens life and supports the sociological and psychological components (2, 3), or, in other words, it is able to:

(i) unburden our cognitive system, supporting it in collecting and recognizing more information in the quickest and most efficient way;

(ii) foster the optimum of our sensorial system in terms of neuro-motorial influence, avoiding both the depressive and the exciting effects;

(iii) induce a strengthening in emotive and biological terms at a neural level;

(iv) support, according to the many clinical evidences, the neuro-endocryne and immunological system, especially for those people who are in bad physical condition.

From a Biourbanistic point of  view, biophilic architecture is characterized by the following elements (4):

(i) the naturalistic dimension, that is, the realization of shapes and geometries that directly (e.g. sun light, ecosystems, etc.), indirectly (e.g. fountains), or symbolically (e.g. images) reflect and support the natural affinity between human beings and nature;

(ii) the Wholeness of the site, that is, “the basic structure of the place”, where each planning action is bedded in a context of wholeness, so that “ … at any given moment, in any part of the world, there is a deep wholeness that exists there. This is the structure of the whole:  the largest and deepest physical configuration that is present there. It can be felt and seen” (5);

(iii) the “geometric coherency”, that is, the physical space must have such a geometrical configuration capable to exalt the connections human dimension and built and natural environments.

The above-mentioned features are the grounding corpus of Biophilic Design, defined as that design, which learns the “laws” deriving from the sciences of life and actuates the same laws in terms of strategies, technological progress, and through a space-syntax  structured on “patterns” so that it is able to (i) design an inclusive environment for everybody, (ii) reflect the inborn affinity between human beings and nature, (iii) support our neuro-physiological, psychological, and biological system, and (iv) respect and strengthen the “genetic code” of the place (6).


To explore the above questions, JBU invites you to submit a proposal for the next issue.

We especially encourage submissions that appeal to readers across disciplinary boundaries.

Essays may consider architecture theory, Neuroscience, environmental psychology, urban ecology, biomimicry, green infrastructure, evolutionary biology, aesthetics, morphology, ergonomic design, patterns, etc.

Newer and interdisciplinary approaches are especially welcome.

For further details or questions, please contact:
Dr. Antonio Caperna, antonio.caperna@biourbanism.org, Editor in Chief of the JBU Biophilic Design and Architecture issue, or jbu@biourbanism.org

JBU Editorial Guidelines

Abstract Submission Deadline:  27 January 2017
Full Paper Submission Deadline: 30 April 2017
Feedback on Paper (Request for Revision): 16 June 2017
Final Paper Submission Deadline: 15 July 2017


[1] Joye Y., (2007) Architectural Lessons From Environmental Psychology: The Case of Biophilic Architecture, Review of General Psychology, Vol. II, No. 4, 305-328
[2] Serafini, S. (2009). Totalitarismo del brutto. No alle archistar. In Bioarchitettura, 59, pp. 4-11.
[3] Caperna, A. (2011). Biourbanistica per la città del XXI Secolo. In Rassegna di Biourbanistica, n.2 pp. 20/31, www.biourbanistica.org.
[4] Caperna A. and al., (2013). Partecipazione e ICT. Gangemi Publishing.
[5] Alexander, C. (2002-2004). The Nature of Order, Voll. 1,2,3,4, New York, Oxford University Press
[6] Caperna A., Serafini S. (2015). Biourbanism as new epistemological perspective between Science, Design and Nature. In Architecture & Sustainability: Critical Perspectives. Acco Publishing