Biophilic Spacecraft Design (09-30-21)

Neilson, Craig, Altman, Travis, Vance, and Klein extend the discussion of biophilic design to spacecraft interiors; psychological and physiological stressors in these environments make them really challenging places for humans to spend time.  The researchers report on how biophilic elements can be introduced into spacecraft: “Astronauts living in space will be unable to access natural landscapes and other environments found to have restorative effects on psychological stress and overall well-being. . . . . research on the usage of VR has shown that environments with natural elements can reduce stress and anxiety (Yin et al., 2020).  Virtual natural spaces have also been shown to be perceived as restorative as natural outdoor environments and even potentially evoke similar engagement, interest, and positive affect akin to natural outdoor environments. . . . artificial windows . . . have been easy to implement on Earth. . . . . potted plants or plants within gardens could be a feasible biophilic addition. . . . Digital nature images are among the cheapest and most efficient methods of introducing greenery to passengers. . . . natural sounds have been used . . . to evoke a restorative effect.”

Brittany Neilson, Curtis Craig, George Altman, Alexandra Travis, Joseph Vance, and Martina Klein.  2021.  “Can the Biophilia Hypothesis  Be Applied to Long-Duration Human Space Flight?  A Mini-Review.”  Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 12, 703766, doi:  10.3389/fpsyg.2021.703766