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Talks and lectures

RIBA + VitrA Talk: Building a biophilic future

Join us for an inspirational evening with leading experts in green architecture and biophilic design, Amanda Sturgeon and Ken Yeang.

Join leading experts in green architecture, Amanda Sturgeon and Ken Yeang for an inspirational evening exploring biophilic design and our inherent need to connect with nature in our modern built environment in order to improve our health and wellbeing.

Reconnecting people with our natural world is pivotal, especially with the proof that nature impacts our mental health and the reality that we spend on average 90% of our time indoors. Biophilic design seeks to satisfy our innate need to engage with nature especially within artificial environments, within our cities and modern buildings. It brings individuals more closely to nature, incorporating elements such as natural lighting and ventilation, living walls and green landscapes. These features in effect create a healthier and more productive environment for its users.

Biophilic design in architecture improves both physiological and psychological wellbeing, creating a healthier habitat for people using the space, by constructing an interconnected ecosystem for users.


Ken Yeang, nicknamed the Father of Bioclimatic Design, has a wealth of experience in ecological design and planning. His ‘bioclimatic skyscraper,’ is a type of high rise now used in various cities that performs as a passive low energy building by being designed according to the particular location and the local climate. Everything from the skyscraper’s shape, to its orientation, to how vegetation is used, will affect how sustainable it is, by working with the surrounding environment, rather than competing with it.

Architect, and author Amanda Sturgeon sees her mission as that of connecting people and nature. Faced with the critical issues of climate change and biodiversity loss, she believes a regenerative approach will heal the relationship which people have with the natural world. In May 2022 Sturgeon was named the inaugural CEO of Built by Nature, a network and grant-making fund with a mission to accelerate the timber building transformation in Europe and the UK. She was previously Regenerative Design and Climate Change Practice Lead for the Asia Pacific region at Mott MacDonald. She is also the author of Creating Biophilic Buildings and a TED Speaker on 'Bringing Biopholic Design to Life'.

Our esteemed speakers will present on their recent projects which utilise biophilic principles as well as explore the importance of building a biophilic future in order to not only greatly improve human health and wellbeing, but also to respond to the urgent climate crisis.

After which, the speakers will be joined by Oliver Heath who will chair a conversation between Ken and Amanda. Oliver Heath is an architectural and interior designer and his practice Oliver Heath Design focus on delivering health and wellbeing in the built environment. As writers, thought leaders, and design practitioners they are recognised global experts in biophilic design – enhancing human nature connections in the spaces which are so important in our lives.

This talk is part of our Well Being : Well Built series, sponsored by VitrA Bathrooms.

This partnership reflects a shared commitment to add social, economic and cultural value to society, and VitrA Bathrooms are proud to be supporting such an inspiring programme.

With innovation at its core, a global reach and a tradition of collaborating with celebrated architects and designers, the VitrA bathroom brand has become a world leader, synonymous with contemporary sophistication since the mid-1900s.

To celebrate the change of season, our autumn 2022 RIBA + VitrA talks will be free. The offer applies to this year’s talks only so be sure to book now.

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