Lauren Mandel, PLA, ASLA
I grew up in a forest and have always loved the outdoors. As an adult, I moved to Center City Philadelphia and quickly realized how much I missed being surrounded by plants, listening to birds, and smelling fresh air.
After earning a Master of Landscape Architecture degree and designing landscapes around the country for a decade, I discovered that this feeling I had, this longing for nature, has a name. Biophilia is human’s innate draw to nature, a feeling that we’ve literally evolved to have. Human’s recent, global migration from wild places to cities—which the UN projects will reach 89% by 2050—is happening so quickly that evolution can’t keep up. This displacement from nature, this evolutionary mismatch, has resulted in widespread depression, social unrest, and ADHD, which some researchers are re-categorizing as “Nature Deficit Disorder.” Luckily, exposure to nature can help. In fact, more than 25-years of peer-reviewed research demonstrates that exposure to nature can benefit physical health, psychological health, and social well-being.
So what are the tens of millions of people living in cities supposed to do? Some are lucky enough to live near public landscapes, places like parks and waterfronts, where they can get a biophilia fix. But what about everyone else?
I founded Bloomtime in 2020 to help those who need a biophilic fix at home. My goal is to create a process that’s quick, simple, and affordable in order to help as many people as possible love the outdoors at home, like I do.