I learnt a new word a few weeks ago – biophilia.

I liked the idea of ‘love of life’ as a simple definition. It corresponds with I’ve been thinking about in defining Urban Nature in my writing.

Biophilia refers to having an ‘innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world’, and the concept was developed by the academic, Edward O. Wilson in his book, ’Biophilia’, published in 1984. Wilson talks of an urge to affiliate with other forms of life. He, in turn, derived the word from the psychologist Erich Fromm, who was talking about ‘a psychological orientation of being attracted to all that is alive and vital’ in the 1960s.

Then, on the ABC’s ‘Catalyst’ last week, 23.10.2014, I heard the word again with reference to the positive role of plants and the natural world in open plan offices. Aha! I thought. I know that word.

And it jumped up again! This time in The Age on Saturday, two days later, when I read that there is a film of Bjork’s show, ‘Bjork – Biophilia’ whose theme is about the link between music, nature and technology.

There’s clearly something in the air and also a chance to use another word I love.


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