Project ‘Biophilic Material’.

How does a bio-based material can contribute to a healing environment for people ?


Project ‘BIOPHILIC MATERIALS‘ by Laura van de Wijdeven.

Narrated by Laura herself.

This project started with my fascination about the impact plants and greenery can have on the atmosphere of a space and the impact it has on people. During the project Biophilic Feet Experience – I noticed that nature has a big role in that subject. I started doing research about it and found out the term for this is ‘Biophilia’.


The Biophilic Feet Experience project.

So I combined Biophilia with my love for material experiment, in particular sustainable materials.

This project is a study of the applicability of biodegradable material in our interior. I have asked myself the question – How does a bio-based material can contribute to a healing environment for people ?

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Biophilia is innate and emotional tie that binds humanity to earth.

When biophilia is used in the built indoor and outdoor environment we call it Biophilic Design. This design strategy is based on the healing power of nature. Namely the presence of the natural stress relieve and increasing our creativity. The choices of materials, which are used in Biophilic Design, are of great importance. Association with nature and stimulating our senses are some key elements.


In this project, I looked at the natural properties of an open source biomaterial: Potato Starch Plastic. With this recipe I started experimenting with colour, texture, transparency and interaction with daylight and artificial light.

By combining different elements and raw materials, there arise new biodegradable materials in which the association with nature is evident. The materials have different characteristics and properties and can therefore be used for different purposes within Biophilic Design.  

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Both projects i.e Biophilic MaterialsBiophilic Feet Experience contain a lot of research about biophilic design. I’m so interested in this subject because I think it’s an important design strategy for now and for the future. Bio-based and biodegradable materials fit great in the aesthetics of Biophilic Design.

The Biophilic Feet Experience project.

The different natural colors I used in this project are

Marble grinding, this is a waste product from the marble industry.

Green earth, weathering product, it comes from Italian rocks/mines.

Red ocher.


(click on the images to enlarge)


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