SBSE Retreat 2022

Wed, Jul 20 - Sat, Jul 23
BIO-INSPIRED DESIGN Biophilic, Biomimetic, and Bioclimatic+ Perspectives Seattle, WA July 20-23, 2022

Biophilic, Biomimetic, and Bioclimatic+ Perspectives
Seattle, WA
July 20-23, 2022

Left: New York Times Building, Renzo Piano, Center: Levitated mass, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Michael Heizer; Right: COOKFOX Studio; Source: Terrapin 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design:

BIO-INSPIRED DESIGN: Biophilic, Biomimetic & Bioclimatic+ Perspectives

RETREAT THEME: Bio-Inspired Teaching, Learning, and Practice

Despite the evolution of human – nature relationships and the long trajectory of “designing with nature,” from the earliest indigenous and vernacular dwellings to emerging high and low-technological innovations, the recent challenges of the global pandemic and climate crisis shine a light on the importance for humans to redouble their efforts to understand the interconnectedness of all life and the fragility of our beloved planet. How might we clarify, frame and/or reframe the “foundation and essential principles” of bio-inspired design (biophilic, biomimetic, bioclimatic, etc.) and their intersections with building science education and sustainable and regenerative design theories, strategies, processes, and methods for the benefit of humans, other species, and the planet?

The 2022 SBSE Retreat proposes a forum to share the best practices of bio-inspired design as well as an opportunity to find common ground in developing shared teaching and learning resources, definitions, case studies, methods, strategies, and practice. What frameworks might SBSE develop to elevate and integrate bio-inspired design approaches in our individual areas of teaching, learning, research and/or practice in response to the pressing issues of our day? As Beatrice Ungard from the Regenesis Group suggests, what if we consider how bio-inspired perspectives might shift from focusing on “fixing things that have degenerated,” to focus on what “new possibilities or ways of doing things that don’t exist now, but could in the future”?

Biophilic, biomimetic, and/or bioclimatic+ perspectives on design education encourage educators, students, and practitioners to investigate their personal relationships with the dynamic conditions of place, including other species, ecosystems, habitat, environmental forces, ecological conditions, and the health and well-being. How might bio-inspired design provide deeper insights into regenerative design intentions and strategies across design issues and scales for all life?

QUESTIONS & PROMPTS: Bio-Inspired Inspiration & Methods for Design Education?

What are the ecological, experiential, and atmospheric opportunities of biophilic, biomimetic, and/or bioclimatic+ perspectives to enhance design education & practice to meet today’s challenges and opportunities? What are the promise and distinctions between these design theories and strategies? How might bio-inspired approaches expand, inspire, and inform the design goals, methods, and strategies for architectural design education and practice?

● How do bio-inspired design approaches intersect with building science?

● Why do bio-inspired approaches to design education and practice matter in today’s global context?

● What are the potential ecological, experiential, and design benefits given current challenges and opportunities?

● What are the best practices for bio-inspired design education, research, and practice?

● What are the education, research, and/or practice gaps?



Event Coordination

● Mary Guzowski, Professor, School of Architecture, University of Minnesota; 
● Margot McDonald, Professor, Department of Architecture, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 
● Sandy Stannard, Professor, Department of Architecture, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, 
● Alicia Daniels Uhlig, Lecturer, University of Washington and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo,

● Interested Collaborators: We welcome any interested individuals who would like to participate in development of the retreat. Please contact Mary Guzowski for information:


SBSE Retreat in Seattle

SBSE Retreat in Seattle will be hosted on the University of Washington campus in two adjacent buildings:

Both are within walking distance to lightrail and multiple bus lines.

A sincere thank you to the Department of Architecture – Kate Simonen, Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture and Rob Peña, Associate Professor – for hosting the SBSE 2022 Retreat.

Please note that the 2022 SBSE Retreat is being planned as a hybrid in-person with some online portion to maintain flexibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Seattle has an abundance of outdoor activities to support the bio-inspired theme. Those who feel comfortable traveling will be responsible for their own travel, lodging, and most meal reservations. The planning committee will provide recommendations to assist. Meeting venues were vetted for easy public transit access. Seattle has a convenient Link lightrail system that was extended in Fall 2021 north of University of Washington (Northgate). The southernmost stop is just south of the SEA TAC International Airport (Angle Lake) and there is a stop at SEATAC so you can use transit to town or the University. While Seattle made news in 2021 with its high vaccination rate, no location is without risk. All in-person registrants and guests acknowledge the inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public or private space where people are present. By attending, you and any guests assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and your own costs associated with travel, lodging, and meals. For up-to-date information on COVID protocols, risks and restrictions, you should access CDC, King County, as well as the UW links provided below.


COVID Protocols

Please note that Washington State, King County, and Seattle public health and private organizations have robust COVID-19 protocols currently in place. If you are not fully vaccinated, you should consider the online registration option.

While the only certainty these days is that protocols and requirements will evolve by July 2022, a summary of requirements used during our planning is provided below to assist those from other states / regions in their planning. These COVID-19 protocols will be updated and will remain fluid until the time of the event. As of March 2022, there are positive improvements and easing of COVID protocol:

  •  Beginning March 1, 2022, the vaccine verification requirement will no longer be in effect in King County. Businesses and organizations may still choose to implement their own vaccine verification policies.
  •  Masks are strongly recommended at UW (April 26, 2022)
  •  Vaccine verification requirements are in effect for UW in-person events including our retreat
  •  Medical and religious vaccine exemptions are not accepted in place of vaccine verification
  •  Everyone should self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and you must stay home if you feel ill, are symptomatic, or if instructed to isolate or quarantine by a public health professional.

December 2021 Summary: Face coverings are required inside regardless of vaccination status.

Seattle / King County (and several other counties in WA starting in October 2021) require proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter most establishments. In order to enter a restaurant, coffee shop, museum, etc. you show your proof of vaccination:

  •  Outdoor recreational and entertainment events with 500 or more people
  •  Indoor restaurants, bars, and taverns, AND indoor entertainment and recreational establishments, such as gyms, fitness facilities, public pools, entertainment and performing arts venues, night clubs, music and concert venues, movie theaters, museums, collegiate and professional sports stadiums and arenas, exhibition halls, and convention centers.

As of December 2021, this guideline applies to anyone over the age of 12. See: (including helpful videos)

Proof of vaccination can take many forms: physical vaccine card, or digital picture of vaccine card front + back, or QR code.

Fully vaccinated as of January 1, 2021 means 2 weeks after final vaccination shot (two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Boosters are highly encouraged.

There is discussion concerning adding boosters to the definition. Several institutions (eg University of Washington) require proof of vaccination prior to the event (never email the information, verification must be visual such as over Zoom) and this may be part of the registration process.

Wishing everyone good health! The best protection is to get vaccinated, boosted and seek CDC guidance such as:

  •  Continuing to wear a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of your vaccination status.
  •  Avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
  •  Gather outdoors whenever possible.
  •  Stay home if you feel sick or have COVID-19 symptoms.
  •  Test to prevent spread to others.
  •  Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available. Mask resource:  Washington State:

State employees, health care providers, child care, K-12 educators, higher education, first responders, etc. are required by Washington State to be fully vaccinated as of mid-October 2021:

King County:





Call for Submissions

We are looking forward to your participation in the 2022 SBSE Retreat exploring the theme of "BIO-INSPIRED DESIGN | Biophilic, Biomimetic and Bioclimatic+ Perspectives." Currently, we are planning for a hybrid retreat experience [Seattle/virtual] July 20-23, 2022.

Please see the call for proposals template here; proposals are due Sunday, midnight April 17, 2022..


Planning is proceeding for the In-Person Hybrid format.

● In-Person:

  • Arrival: Wednesday July 20th afternoon
  • Core Program: Thursday July 21st and Friday July 22nd
  • Departure: Saturday July 23rd afternoon

● Virtual Only: 1-2 days (if determined necessary)

Schedule to be finalized based on COVID situation.