Nature uses the same basic design principles over and over again in spaces we enjoy visiting. When we recognize those principles and apply them ourselves, our lives improve.
Designing as nature does is called biophilic design. Judith Heerwagen and Bert Gregory lay out the key details of biophilic design in a 2008 essay (“Biophilic and Sensory Aesthetics” in Biophilic Design, edited by Stephen Kellert, Judith Heerwagen and Martin Mador).
Heerwagen and Gregory report on “what it is about nature that creates a sense of pleasure, well-being, and engagement with place.” Human designers can achieve positive and psychologically powerful effects by applying the principles they discuss.
As Heerwagen and Gregory describe, the sorts of natural places where we thrive are, for example:
Applying nature’s design principles clearly involves a lot more than hanging a few landscapes where you can see them.