The Peace of Wild Things: Attention Restoration through Biophilic Design

Guest Speaker:
Dr Denise Dillon (James Cook University, Singapore)
Dr Carmel Houston-Price (School of Psychology, University of Reading Malaysia)
Subject Area:
Date & Time:
Wed, 12. October 2016, 13:00 h - 14:00 h
N3.23, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​

Research in the area of environmental psychology indicates that cognitive attention processes can be restored through natural environment scenes. This area of research is now extending to explorations of attention restoration through biophilic design components in built environments, which links to Edward O. Wilson's biophilia hypothesis, that humans have an "innate tendency to focus on life and life-like processes". I present some research exploring perceptions of attention restorativeness in a range of environments and suggest ways to extend this to biophilic built environments in Singapore, a high-density urban area that is promoted as a sustainable city integrating components of biophilic design.


Dr Denise Dillon is the Head of Academic Group Psychology and Education at the Singapore campus of James Cook University (JCU) with years of experience in South-East Asia accrued since moving to Singapore in May 2008. Denise has a long-standing interest in the ways that people interact with and respond to the natural environment, and completed her PhD in psychology with a sociolinguistic focus on how people discuss and think about values in the context of World Heritage protected areas. At JCU, Denise teaches into Environmental Psychology and has supervised several final-year student projects drawing on the Kaplans' Attention Restoration Theory and Wilson's biophilia hypothesis.

She is the Managing Editor of the Journal of Tropical Psychology, a full member of the Singapore Psychological Society (SPS), and a member of the Association for the Study of Literature & Environment (ASLE).

Denise's research interests include biophilia/biophobia and technobiophilia, attention restoration, and human-environment and human-nonhuman animal interactions.

  • Admission is free.​
  • Tea break will be served at 2:00 pm.
  • UoRM staff RSVP by responding to the internal event invitation.
  • All are welcome, RSVP by 7 October 2016.

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