Human Spaces

Spaces designed with the human in mind

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Joe ZazzeraJoe Zazzera

Joe Zazzera is contagiously enthusiastic about “reconnecting people to nature”.  He has been working with nature in the built environment for 35 years. As the founding principal of Plant Solutions Inc., his company designs, installs, and maintains living walls, indoor atriums, and corporate nature programs with an emphasis on biophilia. His mission is to create working environments which connect people with nature, enhance productivity, reduce absenteeism, manage stress, and improve overall well being.

Joe has a Masters of Science degree in Biomimicry From Arizona State University where he trained under Dayna Baumeister and Janine Benyus. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, an Accredited Green Roof Professional, and a provisional WELL Accredited Professional. Joe has been awarded the “Master of the Southwest” designation for his work and artistry in the area of living walls.

Joe often leads hikes in the Sonoran Desert where he lives with his wife, Karen, along with some local bobcats, owls, snakes, coyotes, gila monsters, javelina, roadrunners, tarantula and 1000’s of other organisms.

Sue ThomasSue Thomas

Sue Thomas’s books include ‘Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age: How to feel better without logging off’ (2017); ‘Technobiophilia: nature and cyberspace’ (2013), a study of metaphors in nature and technology; ‘Hello World: travels in virtuality’ (2004), a travelogue/memoir of life online, and ‘Correspondence’ (1992), short-listed for the Arthur C. Clarke Science Fiction Award. From 2005-13 she was Professor of New Media at De Montfort University.

She is a Visiting Fellow at Bournemouth University and has written most recently for Orion Magazine, Aeon, and The Guardian. In 2017 she was an invited speaker at The Edinburgh International Festival of Science and a Visiting Professor in the Department of Psychology at James Cook University Singapore. @suethomas

Ecophon logoEcophon

Ecophon dates back to 1958, when the first sound absorbers manufactured from glass wool and designed to improve the acoustic working environment were produced in Sweden. Today, as part of the Saint-Gobain Group, the company is a global supplier of acoustic systems that contribute to good room acoustics and support a healthy indoor environment, with a focus on offices, education, healthcare, retail and industrial manufacturing premises.

Steve TaylorSteve Taylor

Steve Taylor, Project Director at Peldon Rose. Workplace interior specialists, Peldon Rose, are based in London. Their aim is to transform office design for the benefit of people and business. To find out more about Peldon Rose and their work, visit:

Darran AndersonDarran Anderson

Darran Anderson is the author of ‘Imaginary Cities’ (Influx Press) and the forthcoming book on space and memory, ‘Tidewrack’ (Vintage/FSG). He writes primarily on the intersection of architecture with technology, politics, games and culture. He was a keynote speaker at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2016.

Sir Cary Cooper HeadshotSir Cary Cooper

Cary is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts on well‐being and stress at work and is the media’s first choice for comment on workplace issues. He is a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, The Royal Society of Arts, The Royal Society of Medicine, The Royal Society of Health and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, Editor‐in‐Chief of the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Management and the author/editor of over 120 books. In June 2014 he was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list and was also voted the 1st Most Influential HR Thinker of 2014 by HR Magazine.

Tim Beatley

Timothy is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, and Chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. He is the author or co-author of more than fifteen books, including Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities, (recently translated into Chinese and Korean), Native to Nowhere: Sustaining Home and Community in a Global Age, and Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature Into Urban Design and Planning. Beatley’s book Ethical Land Use, was declared, by the American Planning Association, to be one of the “100 Essential Books in Planning.”

Lance Hosey

Architect Lance Hosey is Chief Sustainability Officer with the global design leader RTKL. As one of the world’s largest architecture firms, with a thousand people in twelve offices on three continents, RTKL has significant reach and influence on the built environment. Lance is a former Director with William McDonough + Partners and the former President & CEO of the sustainability nonprofit GreenBlue. His latest book, The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (Island Press, 2012), the first to study the relationships between sustainability and beauty, has been Amazon’s #1 bestseller for sustainable design. Pioneering thinker John Elkington has called Lance “an inspirational guide to a future we can’t wait to embrace,” and Builder magazine has said that Lance “is on a crusade to revolutionize what it means to be sustainable.”

David OakeyDavid Oakey

David Oakey, founder of David Oakey Designs is the exclusive product designer for Interface and FLOR since 1994, and now leads global efforts in sustainable design, learning from nature, the study of Biomimicry. When Interface founder Ray Anderson declared that his company would be sustainable by 2020, Oakey and his team quickly identified that sustainable design must be innovative, by utilizing efficient use of materials, seeking smart products and eliminating waste during the process. David Oakey currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Biomimicry Institute, and is writing his biography, due out in 2015.

Bill Browning HeadshotBill Browning

William D. Browning, Terrapin Bright Green LLC, received a Bachelor of environmental design from the University of Colorado and a MS in real estate development from MIT.  In 1991, Browning founded Rocky Mountain Institute’s Green Development Services, which was awarded the 1999 President’s Council for Sustainable Development/Renew America Prize. In 2006 he became a principal in Terrapin Bright Green LLC, which crafts environmental strategies for corporations, government agencies and large-scale developments. Browning’s clients include Walmart’s Eco-mart, Starwood, Yellowstone National Park, Lucasfilm’s Letterman Digital Arts Center, New Songdo City, Bank of America’s One Bryant Park, the White House, and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Village. He coauthored Green Development: Integrating Ecology and Real Estate, A Primer on Sustainable Building, Greening the Building and the Bottom Line, The Economics of Biophilia, Midcentury (un)Modern, and 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design: Improving Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment. Browning was named one of five people “Making a Difference” by Buildings magazine and an Honorary member of the AIA. He was a founding member of US Green Building Council’s Board of Directors and is the Chair of the Greening America Board of Directors. He served on the DoD Defense Science Board Energy Task Force and the State Department’s Industry Advisory Panel.

Catie Ryan HeadshotCatie Ryan

Catie is a Sr. Project Manager at Terrapin Bright Green, where she has co-authored “The Economics of Biophilia” (2012), “14 Patterns of Biophilic Design” (2014),  and a peer reviewed article in the ArchNet International Journal of Architectural Research Special Issue on “Complexity, Patterns & Biophilia published by MIT. She is currently developing biophilic design metrics for Google’s real estate portfolio and is LEED coordinator for a 118-story tower in Malaysia.

Jane Henley HeadshotJane Henley

Jane Henley is the Chief Executive Officer of the World Green Building Council, a role she assumed in February 2010. Previously, Jane was the founding Chief Executive Officer of the New Zealand Green Building Council, which she helped establish in 2005. She has also been on the boards of the WorldGBC and NZGBC. Jane is sits on a number of boards, is an active speaker and is passionate about business leading change. Jane is committed to driving market transformation that is underpinned by sound economic practices that simultaneously deliver financial, social and environmental benefits.

Steffen Gelms - Chairman Clean Air for Everybody FoundationSteffen Gelms

Steffen Gelms (The Hague, 1956). Steffen is an international businessman who was involved in the early days of Personal Computing as well as the beginning of Internet in The Netherlands. Importing and distributing products like Compaq PC’s and the Netscape browser. In 1996 he started INTENS and introduced Interactive Television systems for closed circuits from Iceland to Russia and from Norway to Nigeria. In 2003 he was asked to reorganize Orient Networks, a telecom company in Singapore. During this period he was also supporting the Singapore Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Ballet. Today in The Netherlands he is involved with several start-ups, mainly in the IT and knowledge industry. He is a board member at the Descartes Academy2Work,which offers the missing link between science, entrepreneurs and the unemployed on a permanent bases. Board member at Stichting Duinrust, offering nursing homes, apartments and home care. Next to these he is Chairman of the Stichting Schone Lucht voor Iedereen, a platform to put clean air continuously and more prominent on the political agenda.

Giles Hutchins HeadshotGiles Hutchins

Giles Hutchins is a visionary speaker, writer and adviser who goes one step beyond conventional sustainable business. Formerly a management consultant with KPMG, more recently Global Director of Sustainability for Atos, co-founder of Biomimicry for Creative Innovation, adviser for Akasha Innovation and ambassador for Embercombe, he applies ancient wisdom and pioneering new thought to the activation of a new consciousness inspired by and in harmony with Nature. He is author of The Illusion of Separation for a short video see here. He blogs at, facebook community and tweets @gileshutchins.

Dr Mathew White

Dr Mathew White has a background in applied social psychology. Using theories drawn from social and cognitive psychology he is interested in how people make health and environmentally related decisions under uncertainty.
One strand of research examines how people interpret risk information and who they trust to inform and help them make decisions. Another strand examines how people make decisions about how to spend their limited time in order to maximise psychological health. A third strand examines the relationship between natural environments and psychological health.

Steve NygrenSteve Nygren

Steve Nygren is the President and Founder of Serenbe, a wellness community created as a model to demonstrate that preserving 70% of green space interlaced with agriculture, housing and retail is not only economically viable but the future of community wellbeing.
Steve currently serves on multiple national boards dealing with children, agriculture and environmental issues including The Ray C. Anderson Foundation, Children & Nature Network, Chattahoochee Now and Wholesome Wave.

Dr Ian Alcock

Dr Ian Alcock’s main research interest is in the relationships between public health, and socio-demographic, psycho-social and environmental factors. In his current project he works with colleagues at the Centre on modelling relationships between mental health and wellbeing, and the availability of green space, personal circumstances, and the socio-economic profile of the residential locality. Dr Alcock also investigates links between attitudes to health and the environment, and aspects of personality and personal values. His methodological interests include modelling repeated measures, modelling non-random samples, and scale development.

Melissa Sterry

Design scientist and futurist Melissa Sterry is recognised as a world leading authority on the science, technology and thinking that could help build a better world. A recipient of several national and international innovation, creativity and enterprise awards, she is a visiting fellow/lecturer and guest critic at several leading architecture and design research institutes, and has been published in over 60 titles worldwide. Recent works include authoring the Biomimetics chapter for McGraw Hill Publishing’s Global Science Innovation Handbook. A PhD researcher at the School of Architecture and Landscape at University of Greenwich, her research interests converge in Bionic City®, which posits the potential of the city as a complex regenerative and adaptive system that mimics biological resilience strategies.

Ben Wheeler

Dr Wheeler‘s main research interest is the interplay between environment, socio-economic status and public health, with particular regard to health inequalities and informing health and environmental policy. Dr Wheeler works with Prof Michael Depledge, Dr Mat White and others in a group carrying out research on nature, health and wellbeing, investigating the potentially positive effects of natural environments on population health. He also works with collaborators in the European Centre, across the University of Exeter, and at other institutions to apply geographical methods to the investigation of a wide variety of environmental impacts on health.

Helena van Vliet

Helena van Vliet AIA is a Biophilic Architect, Researcher & Speaker on Health and the Built Environment. She is Principal in charge at Helena van Vliet LLC.

Born and raised in Germany Helena holds an undergraduate degree in Architecture from the RwtH in Germany, as well as an M Arch from the University of Pennsylvania. She is licensed in the U.S. as well as in Germany.

Helena considers Architecture a Health Care Profession, and has made the creation of spaces, which foster positive emotional connection to place her primary area of exploration. She views human attachment to and caring for place as essential for true sustainability as well as for physiological well-being.

Helena is a biophilic consultant and facilitates biophilic design workshops and design charrettes. She is a regular contributor at the biophilic design hub Human Spaces, and a steering committee member for the Biophilic Cities Network.

Locally, she is the founder of bioPhilly, a grass roots organization, which seeks to promote wild habitat biodiversity in urban Philadelphia.

Helena is a guest speaker at various universities on the connection between architecture and health.

As adjunct faculty, she teaches Biophilic Design at Pratt Institute & advises graduate and PhD students at Philadelphia University, as well as nationally and internationally, on thesis projects in biophilic sustainable design and biophilic urbanism.

Tine Wagenmann

Tine Wagenmann is owner and founder of award winning Studio Llots, Duesseldorf/ Germany. Studio Llots is developing concepts für architecture and design (of flexible living and working spaces), concept development of work and life balances within business companies under neuroscience aspects by examination and perception referring to space of environment, self-responsibility and team responsibility for more efficient and unstressed results in major projects.

Raphael Gielgen

Raphael Gielgen has spent most of his professional life working on making the office environment a better place. His curiosity for architecture, technology and social change in the context of working environments is his fuel – always connected to the question of how the global working world is changing and what impact it has on existing business models. Another interest field is the “Neo ecology”. How will this evolution change our economic system? Always on a journey to discover how tomorrow’s work place will look, he regularly meets business leaders, architects and designers, a community who can put this knowledge to the service of the society.

Anthony Ravitz

Anthony Ravitz joined Google’s Real Estate and Workplace Services team in March of 2006. Anthony spearheads sustainability efforts in Google’s offices, promoting the healthiest and most productive workplace possible while reducing the company’s environmental footprint and operating costs. He works on design, construction, and operations at the company’s Mountain View, California headquarters, with projects ranging from office renovations and lighting retrofits to the installation of Google’s solar photovoltaic system. Anthony earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Stanford University.

Eva Selhub

Dr. Eva Selhub is an internationally recognized expert, physician, author, speaker and consultant in the fields of stress, resilience, mind-body medicine and working with the natural environment to achieve maximum health and wellbeing. Dr. Eva, as her clients call her, engages her clients and her audiences with her powerful energy, words of wisdom and scientific knowledge to be empowered to transform themselves, their health and their life for the better.

Bill WitherspoonBill Witherspoon

Bill Witherspoon is the founder of The Sky Factory, a fine art and digital technology company that creates biophilic illusions of nature. Bill’s training as an artist and his experience as a serial entrepreneur built the Sky Factory into an award-winning studio whose installations deepen biophilic engagement and can be found in leading interior environments worldwide.

Inc. Magazine named The Sky Factory one of the Top Best Small Workplaces in 2010.

Sky WitherspoonSkye Witherspoon

Skye Witherspoon is the CEO of The Sky Factory. An electrical engineer by trade, Skye has been with the company since its foundation. He leads the R&D engineering and product development teams, and co-owns one of the company’s core technology patents.

Dr Stephen KellertDr Stephen Kellert

Dr. Stephen R. Kellert was a Professor Emeritus at Yale University. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Bio-Logical Capital, a firm that invests in sustainable land uses on large landscapes. His work focused on understanding the connection between nature and humanity with a particular interest in the human need for nature, and sustainable design and development. His awards include the George B. Hartzog Award for Environmental Conservation, the American Publishers Best Book of Year Award in Architecture and Urban Planning for Biophilic Design, the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation, and many others. He is also listed in “American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present.” Dr. Kellert has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences, as a board of director of many organizations, and authored more than 150 publications, including 11 books such as: Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World (Yale University Press, 2012); Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life (John Wiley, 2008), Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection (Island Press 2005); The Biophilia Hypothesis, He also completed with Bill Finnegan a 60-minute documentary video, “Biophilic Design: the Architecture of Life”.

Stephen Kellert sadly passed away on November 27th 2016.


Erin RovaloErin Rovalo

Coming from an architectural design background, Erin now weaves her design thinking expertise with the biomimicry approach for a distinctly innovative approach to sustainable solutions in both her professional work and PhD studies. Her goal is to teach and deliver a holistic methodology for driving innovation and ecosystem regeneration and conservation while bringing awareness to new ways to view and value the natural world. Erin’s sustainability framework experience includes Biomimicry, Living Building Challenge, The Natural Step, and LEED. In the course of her career, Erin has supported over 30 built environment projects working with developers, planners, architects, and engineers to understand and act on their unique opportunity to design, build, and operate resiliently and abundantly within Earth’s operating conditions.
Since joining Biomimicry 3.8, Erin has broadened her scope beyond the built environment to include a wider range of design sectors and challenges, such as packaging design and organizational development, while also serving as a biomimicry instructor to adult learners.

Joe ClancyJoe Clancy

Joe Clancy is a Project Landscape Architect for Bradley Murphy Design Ltd and emerging expert on biophilic design. He is the co-author of Terrapin Bright Green’s 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design: Improving Health and Well-Being in the Built Environment and has had work appear in numerous publications, including MIT’s International Journal of Architectural Research, the Landscape Institute’s Landscape and Landscape Architecture Frontiers. Joe has also been interviewed on the subject of biophilia for online, print and radio by the Irish Times, Sunday Business Post and RTE Radio One. His MA dissertation focused on identifying opportunities and constraints for implementing biophilic design patterns in UK landscape architectural practice and the built environment.He has also facilitated educational workshops, aiming to bridge knowledge gaps and raise awareness on the subject of biophilic design for built environment professionals.

Richard HasselRichard Hassel

Richard Hassell is the co-Founding Director of WOHA, an internationally-acclaimed architectural practice based in Singapore. He graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1989, and was awarded a Master of Architecture degree from RMIT University, Melbourne, in 2002. He has lectured at universities around the world, and served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Technology Sydney, and the University of Western Australia. Major awards garnered by the firm include the 2011 RIBA Lubetkin Prize and the 2010 International Highrise Award, both for The Met, a high-rise tropical tower in Bangkok, Thailand. A travelling exhibition devoted exclusively to their work opened at the Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Germany, in December 2011, and three substantial monographs – WOHA: The Architecture of WOHA and WOHA: Selected Projects Vol. 1 and 2 – have already been published.

Nirmal KishnaniNirmal Kishnani

Dr Nirmal Kishnani is an Associate Professor at the School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore. He is the force behind several platforms on sustainable design in Asia. FuturArc magazine, where he is editor-in-chief, is a bimonthly glimpse of Green in action. FuturArc Prize and Green Leadership Award, two competitions that he chairs, probe the future of design. Dr Kishnani’s early interest in the occupant-building interface led to position on how architecture affects human well-being. In 2002 he founded Asia’s first Green consulting unit where this goal was actualised through a biophilic approach in projects such as the retrofit of the Asian Development Bank (Manila) Khoo Teck Puat Hospital and Gardens by the Bay (Singapore). Since 2007 Dr Kishnani has sought to bridge education and practice. His book, Greening Asia, eschews checklists and instead asks what might be a vocabulary for sustainable design, one that is embedded in ecology and wellness His recent research traces the objectives and impact of two biophilic projects in Singapore. Dr Kishnani has sat on advisory panels in China, Singapore and Vietnam, targeting policy and design guidelines. In 2015 he was picked by a leading magazine as one of ‘50 most influential in Singapore design’.

Hannah Harper, Creative Lead at Interface.Hannah Harper

Hannah Harper, Creative Lead Segmentation EMEA, is a passionate advocate for colour and designing with positive purpose
by applying colour psychology to the design of spaces that naturally enhance productivity and wellbeing.

Jan Hasselman

Jan Hasselman is Senior Vice President of HR & Finance at Interface for Europe, Middle East and Africa.  The company is a worldwide leader in the design and production of carpet tiles that combine beauty and sustainability with functionality and environmental credentials to help customers bring their design vision to life.

Stephen Oakey

Stephen Oakey is the founder of Oakey Agency based out of Atlanta, GA. He specializes in branded content and has worked with global brands such as Chevrolet, Sony Playstation, and KPMG. Stephen has received a number of awards for advertising campaigns and commercials. Stephen’s creative style is heavily influenced by nature, and aims to capture the seemingly trivial, yet delicately vital exchanges of what makes us distinctly human.

Melinda Easterling

Melinda Easterling, the chief executive of Easterling Consulting, has been studying adult health and wellness since 1995. She has her Master’s in Healthcare Administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and specialized in adult health and wellness and health behavior and health education for her undergraduate and graduate degrees. She was introduced to a mindfulness class in 2004 which jumpstarted her interest in the field of mindfulness and meditation. Melinda is on a mission to design and build meditation rooms in the workplace and create environments that encourage employee well-being. She blogs and tweets about wellness and design.

Nicole CraanenNicole Craanen

Nicole believes we can make the world a better place through design. After working in the commercial design field as a licensed interior designer, her passion for learning (and love for nature) brought her back to school to earn a Masters in Fine Arts in biophilic design. She is a LEED Green Associate and consults with manufacturers and designers on strategies to address health and well-being in the architecture and design world.

Nicole further addresses her passion through her website This site is dedicated to educating designers on biophilic design by consolidating and distilling research found in the biophilic design field.

David NavarreteDavid Navarrete

David A. Navarrete is in charge of Research Initiatives & Content Development at Sky Factory. David manages the company’s research partnerships with hospitals, public and private health organizations, and researchers in diverse areas, including environmental design, healthcare, cognitive neuroscience, and architecture. David’s role is to communicate the wellness challenges faced by building owners and occupants, as well as explore how biophilic illusions of nature alter biological outcomes.

Amanda Sturgeon

Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA is the CEO of the International Living Future Institute. She joined the Institute in 2010 following a fifteen-year career as an award-winning architect. Amanda was named as one of the top ten most powerful women in sustainability in 2015 as a recipient of the Women in Sustainability Leadership Award. Her book ‘Creating Biophilic Buildings’ will be published in November 2017.