FRMD Architectural Studio Explores the New Frontier of Sustainable and Biophilic Design

The studio is composed of a group of passionate architects and collaborators who are committed to the creation of spaces that are conducive to the optimal well-being of its residents. FRMDAS carefully integrates sustainable design principles with technologically advanced techniques for successful implementation of this vision through its projects.

Explore the new frontier of sustainable and biophilic design with FRMDAS.

FRMDAS Mindset and Mission

As forward-thinking societies become more proactive in ecologically-sound design, a new breed of today’s architects, engineers, and designers have risen to take on the challenge.

These industry innovators understand the urgency of evolving design and architecture to address the increasingly deleterious effects that controlled human-made environments have on the biosphere.

FRMDAS believes that Cebu City has the potential to initiate this type of mindset to transform heavily urbanized areas into spaces that respect the relationship of humans with nature. The team works across multiple disciplines including architecture and design, engineering, and technology to make an ecologically-sound impact on built environments.

Man is not meant to be isolated from his natural habitat. Instead, he should be allowed to nurture it.

To quote Gary B. Griggs from the 2013 documentary film Sand Wars, “Somehow, we have to bring back that balance by taking that conscious step to try to reduce the impact of those things that we’re doing as a civilization.”

Enter the World of Biophilic Design

Biophilia, by definition, is “the love of life and the living world.”

The concept of biophilia recognizes that all humans have the innate desire to connect with the living environment. As biological organisms, we appreciate nature and all living things through all senses as encoded in our organic makeup. In turn, our mind-body systems benefit greatly from continuous contact with the natural world.

The erosion of this human-nature connection reared its ugly head in the advent of industrialization and urbanization. Infrastructures of steel and concrete flourish in place of trees, unattractive and austere walls shield blue skies and natural sunlight, and synthetic shapes overtake naturalistic forms. The noble pursuit of human survival through development and progress has placed humankind in conflict with the natural world.

Biophilic Design: Re-imagining Design as a Return to Nature

Biophilic Design is a way to harness man’s innate attraction to nature through the creation of environments that are conducive for health and well-being. Designing for people as biological organisms acknowledges the need for humans to return to nature to thrive.

We may not be actively aware of the degradation of our mind-body systems as we continue to bask in the nuances of modern life.

FRMDAS understands that conscious design and architecture helps us gain back the connection that we have lost. By bringing elements of the great outdoors back into constructed environments, we’re allowed to experience healing and wellness that only the natural world can provide.

The basic principle of biophilic design is to incorporate natural elements into an architectural space used for everyday living, work, education, and recreation at every possible opportunity. It is composed of several features and patterns.

What are the features of Biophilic Design?

Essentially, biophilic design focuses on aspects of the natural world that contribute to human health and productivity. In architecture and design, it encompasses several spaces including general landscape and site design, building design, and interior design.

FRMDAS believes that incorporating these features carefully with additional components such as sustainability and green architecture will translate to effective, responsive, and appropriate design for each unique project.

Environmental Features. Use recognizable natural world characteristics.

Natural Shapes and Forms. Use natural or organic forms and lines.

Natural Patterns and Processes. Manipulate visual and non-visual connections, various sensory stimuli, and natural systems to vary the sensory experience.

Light and Space. Use varying intensities of light and shadow to evoke a genuine human reaction in the space.

Place-Based Relationships. Use conscious design that respects all relationships encompassing cultural, ecological, historical, and spiritual.

Evolved Human-Nature Relationships. Use conscious design to promote and enhance strong human-nature connections over time.

Biophilic spaces may contain indoor plants and flowerbeds, water features, unimpeded views, natural light, bird sounds, and adequate ventilation. Its interiors may feature palettes of subtle earth tones, real wood and stone furnishings, walls of natural shell pattern finish, and drapery of local organic textiles. Something as simple as a framed nature scene on an otherwise barren wall is enough to elicit a positive human response.

These spaces essentially blur the line between exteriors and interiors. They blend with the surrounding natural world seamlessly.

What are the benefits of Biophilic Design?

Have you ever wondered why you prefer a particular space over others? Perhaps its specific atmosphere leaves you feeling revitalized, energetic, and blissful.

Nature or environments that mimic nature are known to have positive effects on man’s overall health and well-being. Biophilic design promotes physiological and psychological wellness. It is known to reduce stress, accelerate healing, increase creativity and productivity, and improve cognitive functioning.

Promotes Physiological Well-Being. Overall body systems including respiratory, musculoskeletal, and aural are improved with biophilic design. Blood pressure is regulated, stress hormones are reduced, muscles are relaxed, and circadian rhythms are modulated.

Promotes Psychological Well-Being. Nature restores our psychological state by lowering tension, fatigue, anxiety, and mood disturbances. Humans do well in biophilic spaces intended for work and learning as they are known to increase alertness, mental clarity, and attention.

Increases Cognitive Performance. Reconnecting with nature allows for mental agility, memory, and opportunities for mental restoration.

Final Thoughts: FRMDAS and the Design of the Future

As evidenced by FRMDAS’ past and current projects, the team hopes to continue the promotion of ecologically-sound, sustainable, and biophilic design and architecture through future collaborations with architects, artists, engineers, organizations, scientists, sociologists, and local talents with similar philosophies and mindsets.

FRMDAS’ principal architect Jessryn Marie Lim reiterates, “That’s how architecture should be or any other design discipline.” The team believes in projects with ecological and socio-cultural impact as well as economic development and progress for Cebu City and the world.

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