Biophilic Design Summit


Join us for this immersive learning workshop with thought-provoking talks and meaningful exercises led by some of the leading practitioners in biophilic design. Stay after for continued networking and discussion, co-hosted by the Pittsburgh Living Future Collaborative.

Harvard biologist and environmentalist Edward O. Wilson coined the term biophilia – “love of life or living systems” – to describe humanity’s innate connection with the natural world. Wilson worked with thought-leaders like Stephen R. Kellert to further develop the theories and research around biophilia, which led to the emerging field of biophilic design.

Biophilic design promotes improved human health and wellbeing by creating connections between people and nature in the built environment. As we continue to spend approximately 90% of our time indoors, integrating biophilic design in the places where we live, work, learn, play, worship, and convene together is integral to advancing health, happiness, productivity, and overall wellbeing.


This workshop will highlight and provide:
• Talks highlighting the research behind biophilia and biophilic design
• Examples of current businesses and projects that have incorporated biophilic design practices
• Mindfulness exercises and time to enjoy Phipps Conservatory’s Tropical Forest and regenerative spaces
• Time with other practitioners to develop example biophilic design visions for projects and/or places
• Space to connect with other professionals in the field



8:30–9:00 a.m. – Breakfast and Networking
9:00–9:30 a.m. – Welcome
9:30–11:30 a.m – Presentations & Exercises
11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. – Lunch with Keynote
1:00–4:00 p.m. – Exercises and Hands-On Applied Learning Activities
4:00–5:00 p.m. – Networking and cash bar, co-hosted by the Pittsburgh Living Future Collaborative


Speakers & Facilitators

Amanda Sturgeon, FAIA, CEO, International Living Future Institute (ILFI), ILFI’S Biophilic Design Initiative Advisory Board Member

Richard Piacentini, Executive Director, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, ILFI’S Biophilic Design Initiative Advisory Board Member

Sonja Bochart, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, Principal, Shepley Bulfinch; ILFI’s Biophilic Design Initiative Advisory Board Member

Erica Cochran Hameen, Ph.D., Assoc. AIA, NOMA, LEED AP, Assistant Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

Patricia Culley, AIA, WELL AP, LEED AP, Associate, Bohlin Cywinsky Jackson

Michelle King, Learning Instigator, Love Activist, Transformer; Green & Healthy Schools Academy Consultant

Jenna Cramer (Co-facilitator), LFA, LEED AP, Vice President, Transformation & Community, Green Building Alliance


Additional Resources

• Learn more about Biophilic Design and Amanda Sturgeon’s new book, Creating Biophilic Buildings

• “A Greener More Healthful Place to Work” by Richard Schiffman, New York Times, January 11, 2018.

• “What Is and Is Not Biophilic Design?” By Stephen R. Kellert; Metropolis Magazine, October 15, 2015

Event Address: 
One Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Event Date: 
Friday, March 9, 2018 - 8:30am to 4:00pm
Event Location: 
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens