These days it seems like we live our lives in the digital world. Office buildings, workspaces and homes are far removed from nature, sunlight and benefits of the great outdoors. While we might be more connected than ever, living life under the glare of fluorescent lights has its drawbacks. Increased anxiety, disconnectedness and isolation are just a few of its many downsides; but luckily enough, Biophilic Design is here to make a change.
What is Biophilic Design and how does it help?
Relying on the innovative use of natural elements, like plants, stone, wood and water, biophilic design combines modern tastes with an environmental aesthetic. It relies on the biophilia hypothesis (BET), first introduced by the author Edward O. Wilson, an American biologist, naturalist and author, that infers humans have an innate tendency to seek out connections with nature and other forms of life. It embodies a love for living systems and an embrace of the life force that connects us all. With modern buildings and workspaces now far removed from the wilds of nature, biophilic design seeks to bring us back to our roots.
First, look to nature for inspiration
A big part of biophilic design is its reliance on natural materials. From reclaimed wood floors to hand hewn masonry, the use of minimally processed or green installations are key. Both living and nonliving components play a big part in bringing the outdoors in. Since we spent most of our time in planned and man-made environments, biophilic ideals strive to fulfill the unique needs we have to connect with the chaos of nature. When building out a space, seek to incorporate a balance of both industrial and organic materials.
Then, embrace the green
Plants are one of the main elements of this design philosophy and can be used to great effect with combined together. Instead of choosing one or two artfully potted plants, go wild and dream big. Biophilic design thrives with large installations that combine many different species in colors and shapes galore. Greenery has been proven to clean the air, raise moods and increase energy, so the more the better. A single plant, alone in a corner highlights the fact it is out of its element. But grouped together, with many of its peers and intermingled with vines, leaves and branches together - that’s biophilic.
Finally, strive for sightlines
If a massive installation is out of reach, the next best thing is to lean on the principal of sightlines. Use smart architecture and the mindful placement of art and furniture to draw the eye outdoors. When possible, choose large format windows, folding doors and subtle window coverings to open the space and pull attention to the outside. When nature is just out of reach, a room with a brilliant view can be just as satisfying. So be mindful with anything that makes your space feel close and isolating. With these ideals in mind, we can bring a bit more life into the everyday and embrace biophilic design in our homes, lives and workspaces.