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Giuseppe Barbiero is head of the Laboratory of Affective Ecology at the University of Valle D’Aosta (LEAF/UniVDA). He is co-editor of Visions for Sustainability, an international scientific journal that promote debates on ways in which sustainability can be addressed and applied in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives. His main research interests are the biophilia hypothesis and the Gaia hypothesis. He is also interested in their applications such as Biophilic Design in architecture or Green Mindfulness in ecopsychology.
Our laboratory combines ecology, evolutionary and environmental psychology approaches to study biophilia, the affective bond between humans and Nature. We have been involved in showing that biophilia – as hypothesed by E.O.Wilson – is based on two constructs, fascination and affiliation, that corresponds to two constructs well known in environmental psychology: involuntary attention and connectedness to Nature, respectively.
Figure 1. Hypothesized model where the two constructs of biophilia (in green) – fascination and affiliation – are put in relation with naturalistic intelligence, environmental concern and pro-environmental behaviour.
BIOPHILIC DESIGN rationale: theory, methods, and applications
Biophilic Design tries to translate humans’ attraction to and desire for connection with Nature, namely biophilia, into the design of environments. However, to justify the psychological benefits and effectiveness of biophilic design, designers often draw inspiration from restorative environmental design, a way of planning the environment to support psycho-physiological well-being. Restorative Environmental Design derives from environmental psychology theories – in particular Attention Restoration Theory (ART) and Stress Recovery Theory (SRT).
Figure 2. A model of Biophilic Design
BOLTEN, B., BARBIERO G. (in press) Biophilic Design. How to enhance physical and psychological health and wellbeing in our built environments. In Therapeutic Landscape Design: method, strategies and new scientific approaches, S. Capolongo and A. Rebecchi eds., Springer.
BARBIERO, G., BERTO, R. (2018) From Biophilia to Naturalist Intelligence Passing Through Perceived Restorativeness and Connection to Nature Annals of Reviews and Research, 3(1): 555604.
BERTO, R., BARBIERO, G., BARBIERO, P., SENES, G. (2018) Individual’s Connection to Nature Can Affect Perceived Restorativeness of Natural Environments. Some Observations about Biophilia. Behavioral Sciences, 8, 34.
BERTO, R., PASINI, M., BARBIERO, G. (2015) How does Psychological Restoration Work in Children? An exploratory study. Journal Child and Adolescent Behaviour, 3: 200
BARBIERO, G. (2011) Biophilia and Gaia: Two Hypothesis for an Affective Ecology. Journal of BioUrbanism, 1: 11-27.
GUARNIERI, V., BENESSIA, A., CAMINO, E., BARBIERO, G. (2008) The Myth of Natural Barriers. Is Transgene Introgression by Genetically Modified Crops an Environmental Risk? Rivista di Biologia / Biology Forum 101, pp. 195-214.