Title page for ETD etd-12082009-140512

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Keegan, John D
URN etd-12082009-140512
Title Experiencing Sustainable Architecture
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Rott, Hans Christian Committee Chair
Ermann, Michael G. Committee Member
Jones, James R. Committee Member
  • biophilic nature
  • biophilia
  • sustainable
  • skyscraper
  • senses
Date of Defense 2006-05-10
Availability unrestricted
The prevailing approach to sustainable design focuses on low environmental impact objectives rather than the enhancement of the connection between people and the natural environment. According to Edward O. Wilson, biophilic design attempts to place an emphasis on the human to nature relationship in the built environment under the ideology that we have an innate affinity for the natural world because of our evolutionary development. In order to properly apply biophilic design, it is necessary to study and understand what it is about specific elements in nature that creates a sense of pleasure and well being. Nature is rich with sensual features, and the expression of these biophilic traits in architectural design is really what “sustainable design” is all about.

The purpose of this thesis is to explore Wilson’s theories of biophilic design through the development of an office skyscraper. The driving force behind the project is the design of the sensory oases, which are vertical extensions of the ground plane that contain features intended to stimulate the senses.

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