Faculty Publications


An Exploration of How Biophilic Attributes on Campuses Might Support Student Connectedness to Nature, Others, and Self

Document Type



biophilic attributes, campus outdoors, quality of life, student connectedness, student restoration

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Frontiers in Psychology




University Campuses remain important settings for nurturing and supporting student health and quality of life (QoL). Research shows the health benefits of nature experiences may be facilitated by campus spaces and activities that afford connectedness. Connectedness to nature, others, and self may allow students to cope with mental fatigue, stress, and a constant need for restoration. Despite recent encouraging trends, we still lack an integrative conceptual framework to describe the mechanisms involved in achieving connectedness for making recommendations for campus design. In this conceptual review, we examine students’ connectedness in campus settings in relation to biophilic elements and attributes. We aim to understand how both direct and indirect pursuits in nature and also place-based experiences on campus foster connectedness and consequently impact students’ health and QoL. Our analysis shows that connectedness seen through the lens of Kellert’s biophilic design principles and aided by Alexander’s pattern language provides a relational and long-term perspective on recommending strategies for connecting students to nature, to others, and to themselves in campus settings.


School of Applied Human Sciences

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version