× You are not currently logged in. To receive all the benefits our site has to offer, we encourage you to log in now.

Webinar: The Wisdom of Nature – Biophilic Design for Health & Wellness

When: March 12, 2020
Time: 12:00pm Pacific
Price: $65 Individual View/$150 Group View

1 unit EDAC continuing education
1 unit AIA continuing education
IDCEC credit also available**

CEU forms available for download during webinar


This webinar is free to our Affiliate+ members.


Biophilia is defined as a love of the living world. We seek nature, especially when we don't feel well. Nature can calm us with a beautiful sunset or invigorate us with a spring rain. Both ancient and modern people use nature in healing. Nature has always offered healing places: a sacred spring, a reflective pond, a quiet grove, and majestic peaks. For centuries we have sought these sanctuaries in our quest for health and healing.

This webinar explores the science biophilia that embraces nature as the teacher to solve complex issues in challenging building spaces. It will explain the mathematics, physics and biology that support the biophilic behavior and it will further discuss circadian and color kinetic lighting, human sustainability, healthy buildings, human factors, and nature's geometry of fractals, as design tools for the built environment.

We spend more than 90% of our life in a built environment.  Our work as architects and designers have an impact on human health and wellness.  This presentation will address criteria that contributes to healthy buildings.  Nature provides the framework from which we will investigate philosophy as well as design tools. 

Nature is our guide to balance and harmony. Nature-based designs draw upon the innate intelligence found in nature—when plants turn their leaves to the sun for light, when a bird sits on eggs, and ultimately, when our body knows how to heal itself.  Organic design is not just a trend or style, it is design based on programmatic needs of healing modalities. 


Learning Objectives

  • Examine the basic tenants of human sustainability and ways the built environment impacts our human biology.

  • Investigate the healing power of nature to enhance the user experience, reduce stress, improve cognitive performance, and support health and wellness.

  • Understand the architectural and design applications of nature’s geometry, as seen in structure, shape, color and light.

  • Obtain new nature-based design tools to provide design for improved health outcomes.


Presenting Faculty

Barbara J. Huelat, AAHID, FASID, EDAC, Principal of Health Design

Barbara is nationally recognized for work in patient-centered design, Healing Environments, Biophilic Design, WELL Building Standards and Evidence-Based Design. Her three decades as a design practitioner cover virtually all types, components and sizes of domestic and international healthcare, government and Veteran Affairs facilities. Barbara is currently the Design Principal of Healing Design in Alexandria, VA. She is certified in Evidence-Based Design, applying research to design environments. Currently serving on NIH’s Healthy Building Roundtable HiBR and MedStar’s All Mind’s Meeting for Healthcare Innovation.

She is a past president of the American Academy of Healthcare Interior Designers and a fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers where she also served on the National Board.  Barbara has been honored with numerous design awards for projects of excellence, as well as personal recognition from ASID for design innovation impacting the community, health and wellbeing as well as visionary design innovation,

Ms. Huelat has authored two books:  Healing Environments, Design for the Body Mind & Spirit, and Healing Environments, What’s the Proof? Design for the Body, Mind and Spirit has been translated into Chinese and distributed throughout Asia. The books are also used in schools and seminars for teaching concepts of Healthcare Design. Barbara is a popular speaker; she lectures frequently to audiences in science, academia, medical, consumers and design on a full spectrum of healthcare design topics.


M. Dana Oprisan M.D., Assoc. AIA, LEED AP BD+C, EDAC, Principal at Biophilic Practice Group, Adjunct Professor at Marymount University School of Design, Arts and Humanities

M. Dana Oprisan is a professional Interior Architect with over fifteen years of experience in interior architectural design. She turned to architecture after earning her medical degree and practicing as an Intensive Care Unit physician. Besides her medical and architectural degrees, Dana holds a certificate in “Healthcare Facilities Planning and Design” from the Cornell University College of Human Ecology and an MS degree in Sustainable Design from The Catholic University of America. Her career change was triggered by observing the diversity of patient outcomes in different contexts and by her passion for human nature in relationship to the environment and the impact of surrounding spaces on human psychology, physiology, and health. She teaches, lectures, researches, and translates research findings into feasible design solutions.

As a researcher and consultant, her work focuses on the impact of architectural spaces on people’s wellbeing and health, regarded through the biophilic, physiological, and psychological approach and translating these findings in architectural practice as premises for sustainable, human-centered design.

Most recently, her work also focuses on the concept of comfort at the intersection of adaptability, physiology, and technology and serves as a member of the scientific and stirring committee of the Comfort Conference, Troyes 2020, organized by EPF Graduate School of Engineering, Paris, France.