Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace

  1. Executive Producer: Stephen Kellert
    Producer/Director: Bill Finnegan
    Production Company: Tamarack Media
    Film Length: 60 minutes

    More information at

    Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature. The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development. Come on a journey from our evolutionary past and the origins of architecture to the world’s most celebrated buildings in a search for the architecture of life. Together, we will encounter buildings that connect people and nature - hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children’s test scores are higher, offices where workers are more productive, and communities where people know more of their neighbors and families thrive. Biophilic Design points the way toward creating healthy and productive habitats for modern humans.

    Producer Bios

    Dr. Stephen R. Kellert is the Tweedy Ordway Professor Emeritus of Social Ecology and Senior Research Scholar at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Bio-Logical Capital, a firm that invests in and implements sustainable land uses on large landscapes, as well as he was a founding partner of Environmental Capital Partners, a private equity company investing in the environmental sector. His work focuses on understanding the connection between nature and humanity with a particular interest in environmental conservation and sustainable design and development. His awards include: the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, Connecticut Outdoor and Environmental Educators Association; the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Service Award, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; the 2009 George B. Hartzog Award for Environmental Conservation; the 2008 American Publishers Professional and Scholarly Best Book of Year Award in Architecture and Urban Planning for the book Biophilic Design; the 2005 Outstanding Research Award for contributions to theory and science, from the North American Association for Environmental Education; the 1997 National Conservation Achievement Award, from the National Wildlife Federation; the 1990 Distinguished Individual Achievement Award, from the Society for Conservation Biology; the 1985 Best Publication of Year Award, from the International Foundation for Environmental Conservation; and, the 1983 Special Achievement Award, from the National Wildlife Federation. Dr. Kellert is also listed and described in “American Environmental Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present.” He has served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences, and has been a member of the board of directors of many organizations. He has authored more than 150 publications, including the following books: Endless Spring: the Ties that Bind Nature with Humanity (Yale University Press, in preparation); Companions in Wonder: Reflections on Children and Adults Exploring Nature Together (edited with J. Dunlap, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011); The Coming Transformation: Values to Sustain Natural and Human Communities (edited with Gus Speth, Yale FES, 2010); Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science, and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life (co-editors, J. Heerwagen, M. Mador, John Wiley, 2008), Building for Life: Designing and Understanding the Human-Nature Connection (Island Press 2005); Kinship to Mastery: Biophilia in Human Evolution and Development (Island Press, 1997); The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society (Island Press, 1996); The Biophilia Hypothesis (edited with E.O. Wilson, Island Press, 1993); The Good in Nature and Humanity: Connecting Science, Religion, and Spirituality with the Natural World (edited with T. Farnham, Island Press, 2002); Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural, and Evolutionary Foundations (edited with P. Kahn, Jr., MIT Press, 2002); and Ecology, Economics, Ethics: The Broken Circle (edited with F.H. Bormann, Yale University Press, 1991).

    Bill Finnegan is a founding partner of Tamarack Media, a multimedia production company that specializes in telling stories about the relationship between people and nature and harnessing the power of new media to educate and advocate. Through Tamarack, Bill has produced award-winning films for television, film festivals, and the web, including Building Community with Greenspace (episode in the 2006 public television series Natural Heroes), Restoring America’s Serengeti (Best PSA, 2005 International Wildlife Film Festival), and Wetlands & Wonder (Merit Award for Conservation Message, 2009 International Wildlife Film Festival). Bill also served as Associate Producer and Additional Editor on The Axe in the Attic, a feature documentary on the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora that premiered at the 2007 New York Film Festival. In 2006, Bill received the Journey of a Lifetime grant from the Royal Geographical Society to produce a radio documentary on Cairo’s garbage collectors and recyclers (the Zabbaleen) that was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Bill received a 2007 New Voices award from J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism and a 2010 TogetherGreen Fellowship from National Audubon Society and Toyota. Before founding Tamarack, Bill worked at Cross Current Productions, Interlock Media, and Smash Entertainment Group, where he made programs for the History Channel. Bill teaches video production at Champlain College, serves on the Montpelier Conservation Commission, and is the President of the Board of Directors of the DREAM Program.

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  2. Bear 71 Live observes and records the intersection of humans, nature and technology in a live, Internet connected event. Questioning how we see the world through the lens of technology, this multi-user, interactive story blurs the line between the wild world and the wired one. And it involves an augmented reality app.

    Production : National Film Board of Canada (

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  3. Video featuring, from IBM: Mike Wing, Andy Stanford-Clark and John Tolva.

    Over the past century but accelerating over the past couple of decades, we have seen the emergence of a kind of global data field. The planet itself - natural systems, human systems, physical objects - have always generated an enormous amount of data, but we didnt used to be able to hear it, to see it, to capture it. Now we can because all of this stuff is now instrumented. And its all interconnected, so now we can actually have access to it. So, in effect, the planet has grown a central nervous system.

    Look at that complex set of relationships among all of these complex systems. If we can actually begin to see the patterns in the data, then we have a much better chance of getting our arms around this. Thats where societies become more efficient, thats where more innovation is sparked.

    When we talk about a smarter planet, you can say that it has two dimensions. One is to be more efficient, be less destructive, to connect different aspects of life which do affect each other in more conscience and deliberate and intelligent ways. But the other is also to generate fundamentally new insights, new activity, new forms of social relations. So you could look at the planet as an information, creation and transmission system, and the universe was hearing its information but we werent. But increasingly now we can, early days, baby steps days, but we can actually begin to hear the planet talking to us.
    Music by Lee Feldman:

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  4. The Canadian Pavilion at the 12th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia in Venice, Italy, presents Philip Beesley's Hylozoic Ground, an immersive, interactive environment made of lightweight digitally-fabricated component fitted with meshed microprocessors and sensors. More info:

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  5. Second part of the series exploring ideas discussed at FutureEverything 2011. Featuring Sue Thomas ( and artist Zach Gage.

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Technobiophilia: Nature and Cyberspace


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