Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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BIOFROLIC: An investigation of play as a biophilic design driver

posted on 2022-09-26, 23:55 authored by Tindall, Celeste

Children have an innate curiosity for nature, but for many, somewhere along the way into adulthood this curiosity is lost and the natural world is rendered foreign, dirty,alien and scary. How can we connect with this curiosity again? How can we connect through play? How can biophilic design principles facilitate the creation of engagingspaces which reconnect people to nature through play?

This thesis aims to answer this question through qualitative and arts-based research, and will combine biophilic and ludic architecture principles into design conventions.

The research will review why there is a decline in our interaction with nature, the impacts of this decline on our health, and how we can combat this decline witharchitecture. Review and characterisation of biophilic design precedents in New Zealand and overseas will unpack why they are successful or unsuccessful. Thisresearch will also explore what makes play enticing to adults and how to achieve this enticement in design, and the effects the sense of playfulness can have on us.

This thesis aims to establish the interrelation between biophilia and play within architecture. These two previously detached notions can now be integrated into onemethodology mediated by structural concepts. This study investigates how to create active engagement with biophilic design, going beyond visual design and insteadpiquing people’s curiosity by engaging their senses. In encouraging the interaction with design, this thesis intends to inspire people to engage with nature.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

3 Applied research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

Wellington School of Architecture


Perkins, Natasha