Biophilia Enhanced Through Art (BETA) - CODAworx

Biophilia Enhanced Through Art (BETA)

Submitted by Nicole Capozzi

Client: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Location: Pittsburgh, PA, United States

Completion date: 2014

Project Team

Art Consultant

Nicole Capozzi

Mox Box Consulting

Interior Designer

Sonja Bochart

SmithGroup JJR


Richard Piacentini

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens


Sara Englert

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens


Drew Hine

Dee Briggs Studio


Ellen Little

Little Design


Luke Jacomb and Katherine Rutecki

Lukeke Design


Chiz Turnross


The Center for Sustainable Landscapes (CSL) at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens was designed to be the first project in the world to simultaneously achieve LEED Platinum, SITES four-star certification, and The Living Building Challenge. The Biophilia Enhanced through Art (BETA) Collection at the CSL honors our profoundly deep connections with nature. It is a visual, collective voice that tells the unfolding of a story about the CSL, and its spirit.


By employing cutting-edge approaches to low environmental impact technology and sustainable design, the CSL achieved energy and resource efficiency. As the CSL continues to become a “Living Building,” we are inspired to ask with agency, the question, “What would it look like if people began to relate to nature with symbiotic intent?” For the BETA Collection at the CSL, it was very important that the artists did not use products that contained chemicals found on the Red List. The collection addresses Phipps' Program Petal, “Beauty”, which celebrates art by highlighting important connections between people, plants, and the planet in order to inspire positive changes in the way we interact with the world around us.


The integration of the BETA Collection into the CSL used both vernacular and organic approaches to Biophilic Design. Whether the artists where creating site-specific artwork or the designers were incorporating works already in existence, characteristics of Biophilic Design were implemented by thoughtful grounding within the rich culture at Phipps. This was achieved through collaboration between Phipps' established and growing community.

Additional Information

The term Biophilia represents a human being's innate love for other life forms and the natural world. Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a Biophilia Network dedicated to strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion, and action. The group meets monthly at the CSL where a discipline or behavior is identified — often by an expert guest speaker — and discussed among the participants in the interest of sharing ideas and identifying opportunities.