Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a global Biophilia Network of creative minds dedicated to strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action.
• To welcome and inspire others with the concept and principles of biophilia • To foster collaboration and learning between professionals from a wide variety of disciplines • To communicate biophilic principles in action-oriented ways to a wider audience for exponential and regional impact
What Is Biophilia?
The term “biophilia,” which literally means “love of life,” was coined by social psychologist Erich Fromm and popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson, who defined it as “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms.”
The implications of biophilia extend across a vast array of disciplines including design and engineering, nutrition, psychology, public health, education, biology and the humanities. Biophilia is expressed all over the world every day, through complex collaborations such as the design and construction of buildings and landscapes; and intimate, personal encounters including nature hikes and home gardening.
What Will We Do?
It all starts with good conversation! Biophilia: Pittsburgh will begin by meeting monthly at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes classroom at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Over delicious small-plates and light refreshments, a discipline or behavior will be identified — often by an expert guest speaker — and discussed among the participants in the interest of sharing ideas and identifying opportunities. With your direction, we hope to expand the schedule to include off-site trips to biophilic regional destinations like nature preserves, green buildings, and urban gardens, and to plan and enact initiatives in our own community to make things better for people and the planet. Join the movement!
Join us on Thurs., March 7 to meet local artist Ashley Cecil as she discusses her exhibit in Phipps' Welcome Center Gallery, "Deepening Roots: Our Growing Connections to the Botanical World." This exhibit explores six deep human-botanical bonds, some familiar and some unexpected. The artist will talk about experiences at Phipps that inspired her vibrant botanical artworks.
NOTE: Each individual featured in Ashley's paintings will also be in attendance at a closing reception to immediately follow from 7 – 9 p.m. If you wish to attend the reception in addition to the Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting, please email us at [masked].
Meet the Speakers
Ashley Cecil specializes in paintings of flora and fauna that illustrate the connections between the natural world and us, its human inhabitants. Her work includes collaborations close to home with several beloved Pittsburgh institutions such as the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, as well as far-flung adventures to biological oases like the Amazon rainforest. The aim of her artwork is to endear you to nature by making scientists’ understanding of it relatable to our everyday lives.
5:30 – 6 p.m. Networking and refreshments
6 – 6:30 p.m. Presentation
6:30 – 7 p.m. Discussion
Directions and Parking
The meeting will take place at Café Phipps, and entry will be available through the main Conservatory entrance at our Welcome Center. Guest parking spaces will be available at the parking island on Schenley Drive.