Journal of Biophilic Design podcast

The River of Life – Orientate Earth, Built Environment and Sustainable Workplace

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Harvesting the energy of our people, is a key message in this great podcast with Jaime Blakeley-Glover, founder of and a collaborator with other businesses all working towards the same goal, to make our world and our environment a better place to live and thrive. We talk about his the “Social benefit of buildings”. For Jaime, we have a huge responsibility in relation to how we create our built environment, the decisions we take will have an effect for years after we’ve gone. We leave a legacy, and a choice. Do we create amazing awe-inspiring connected places or create dull and lifeless ones? It is only by understanding and engaging with all the stakeholders, from the building owners to the people who work, visit, use and supply the buildings that will allow us to think about the place our buildings and places have in responding to the needs of people now and in the future. We need to broaden out how we think of things. Buildings are more than just Units and assets, these are places where people live, how we build and design affects their lives and wellbeing. Let’s look at the Social-economic indicators as well as the “warm” data, this collective imagination to assess this broad set of information, and then respond to it. Biophilic design and nature-inspired design does support a more sustainable way of living. It is proven, that if we care about something we do more to protect it, if we bring nature more into our sense of view, we will do more to protect it. We can also be inspired by nature and look at how buildings and cities are living systems. We are part of the living system, in terms of cities, and nature. We can’t think about it in a linear way. All living systems are wonderfully adaptive, they change in response to their surroundings. That’s how we should be looking at how we designing materials, organisations, buildings. Nature has feedback loops, and if we genuinely listen to a place, really understand what is going on in the workplace and a make a commitment to work with what we see, we will flourish. We also talk about the Most Sustainable Workplace Index. There was a report in 2017 that stated that 98% of sustainability initiatives fail to deliver, for Jaime, most of this comes from human factors and we need to reduce that. But we can’t just scatter seeds on stony ground. We need to think about the soil in an organisation which is the culture, the relationship, the purpose, our meaning. Which in turn allows things to grow, the index, helps us understand that so we can sow the seeds, and select the right ones. With a more human centric measure of sustainability based around motivation. If people are motivated, we would not be getting those stats. With the index we can understand our people and respond to what they need to step into action and help build motivation for sustainable behaviour and action. If we use Biophilic Design as a way of working, combined with a process of Adaptation (mimicking nature), we can contextualise what we do, and grow from the inside out. And things will change for the better.

To contact Jaime visit and

Jaime will be speaking at the Workplace Trends conference on 19th April 2023, in London

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Credits: with thanks to George Harvey Audio Production for the calming biophilic soundscape that backs all our podcasts. Did you know our podcast is also on Audible, Amazon Music, Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher, vurbl, podbay, podtail, and most if not all the RSS feeds? Facebook Twitter LinkedIn. Instagram

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