Design By Nature

Offers creative and sustainable urban solutions based on the principles of biophilic design, ranging from increasing productivity and well being in the workplace to reducing urban heat. The integrated and scalable design attributes include living architecture such as green roofs, green walls and rain gardens as well as the patterns, materials and forms of nature. The biophilic approach brings multiple social, environmental and economic benefits while also contributing to creating liveable, sustainable and regenerative cities.

Integrating nature with the built environment


Design by Nature brings vision and creativity in its approach to contemporary and sustainable developments based on the principles of biophilic design. We believe that inspired innovation and whole systems thinking brings healthy and rewarding solutions.

Biophilic design is an approach which asserts that humans have an innate connection with nature that can assist to make buildings and cities more effective human abodes. The principles can be applied at any scale from office, home, building, precinct to citywide: retrofitted or new, and brings multiple social, environmental and economic benefits.

Who We Are

Jana Soderlund

Jana Soderlund

BSc(Hons), GradCertSustClimPol., PhD

Dr Jana Soderlund’s PhD on biophilic design included global research on biophilic design initiatives in 10 frontrunner cities and interviewing over 30 leaders in government, industry, NGOs, corporate and civic arenas. This was combined with local projects, such as trial green walls with The City of Fremantle.

She is currently a sessional academic and lectures in biophilic design at Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute (CUSP).


Biophilic design from work place to precinct

  • Design for the integration of living architecture in residential and commercial buildings: green walls, green roofs, rain gardens.
  • Work place and office design with a focus on increasing occupant wellbeing and productivity.
  • Implementation of biophilic design in projects for an enhanced experience with quantifiable benefits and financial savings.

Project management

  • Coordination of the process from design, procurement and implementation of biophilic architectural features and living architecture from small to large scale projects.

Research and analysis

  • Experienced and qualified researchers to analyse, assess and deliver quantifiable and qualifiable results.

Presentations and workshops

  • Educational presentations on biophilic design, the benefits and the implementation.
  • Creative workshops to determine how biophilic design can be implemented to improve productivity, health and well-being plus building performance.


Biophilic Architecture: a review of the rationale and outcomes

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Contemporary cities have high stress levels, mental health issues, high crime levels and ill health, while our built urban environment struggles to cope with increasing problems from urban heat island effects and air and water pollution.

Improving mental health in prisons through Biophilic Design

(in press)

Increasing nature and natural elements within a prison offers the potential to de-stress residents, improve mental health, cognitive functioning and learning, reduce recidivism and increase receptivity for behavioural change and restorative justice opportunities.

Biophilic Design: A social movement journey

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Cities are experiencing rapid population growth and an urban transformation to post-industrial knowledge-based economies. Within this transition is a proposed redefining of urbanites’ relationship with nature which suggests that significant human nature interaction should occur within cities, not just outside.


Biophilic Cities

The aim of the project is to create a defined transition strategy towards Perth as a water sensitive biophilic city, potentially through a symposium. Working alongside the Department of Water and the Biophilic Cities Global Network, we are currently in initial stages of liaising with organisations and varying sectors of society.

East Perth Power Station

Contributed research and biophilic design ideas to a successful expression of interest in a large scale (precinct) development project.

Fremantle green wall trials

Fremantle Greenskins is a unique trial to assess the feasibility of green walls in the Fremantle CBD as a response to the urban heat island effect and climate change. Scientific data was collected alongside social responses.

Greening Site Offices

Developed designs with supporting research for the greening of site offices in commercial building sites. The project involved calling for design tenders and assessing the responses. It was completed at an east coast building site.

The Prison Project

A project based on improving health and reducing stress in prisons through biophilic design.

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