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Biophilic Design / Tools to Improve Health and Well-Being in Educational Environments for All Generations

Can designers foster biophilia in childhood education? Carducci Associates Principal Vince Lattanzio co-presented a workshop to answer this question at California’s Coalition for Adequate School Housing’s (CASH) 38th Annual Conference on School Facilities in February in Sacramento. Mr. Lattanzio presented with Anna Harrison, Senior Design Strategist with Aedis Architects, and Julio Lucas, Director of Capital Planning and Design for the East Side High School District of Silicon Valley.

With California’s Proposition 51 funding available for school construction and modernization projects, CASH holds the state accountable to support school facility needs. CASH’s annual conference provides a platform to propose an implementation strategy and share knowledge about school facility best practices. For landscape architects, this is an opportunity to build state-of-the-art learning environments informed by current scientific research translated into design and planning strategies.

Biophilia is described in scientist and naturalist E.O. Wilson’s 1984 book of the same name as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of ultimate human nature” (31). Fostering this bond through design is studied in environmental design consultant Terrapin Bright Green’s “Fourteen Patterns of Biophilic Design” and in Timothy Beatley’s “Handbook of Biophilic City Planning and Design.”

Carducci Associates often incorporates these principles throughout their designs for educational and childcare facilities. On the boards, Principal Vince Lattanzio, Associate Principal Jin Kim, and Associate Monty Hill (bios here) bring biophilia to San Jose’s Overfelt High School. “The landscape emulates the energy of a river flowing through the campus that allows for free-flowing movement and restful eddies.”

Landform and materiality evoke a river, eddies and an estuary at Overfelt High School in San Jose, CA.

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