Biophilic design - an introduction
Although the term may not be familiar to everyone, the concept of biophilia is longstanding and humans are widely acknowledged to have an innate connection to nature. In the evolving industrial and technological world, we’re increasingly finding our relationship with the natural world diminishing.
In response to this, many architects and designers now realise the implications of our loosening ties with nature and have started to take steps to incorporate the natural world into our lives more effectively. This is where the concept of biophilic design comes in. Biophilic design aims to integrate nature into architecture and interior design through natural materials and forms in a fundamental way, in order to create environments that promote wellness and positivity.
The benefits of biophilic design
Biophilic design isn’t just an aesthetic-focused concept aimed at designing spaces to harmonise more readily with nature. Whilst this is partially the case, it is mainly implemented for functional purposes related to the physical and mental wellbeing of those who interact with the environment on a regular basis.
There have been numerous studies to suggest the positive benefits of interaction with nature. Research has shown that nature can improve productivity, lower stress levels, enhance learning comprehension, and increase recovery rates from illness.
Take a workspace for example. A dull, uninspiring office with artificial light can make people feel lethargic and low on energy. This is where biophilic design’s benefits reveal themselves – studies show that directly accessing nature can alleviate feelings of stress and enable better focus, as well as increase mental stamina and productivity. Exposure to natural daylight is also important to help elevate our moods and balance the hormone that regulates sleep. Therefore, biophilic design isn’t just about aesthetics, it could be essential for our happiness and wellbeing.
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To provide a foundation of understanding, biophilic design can be broken down into three categories…