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What Is Biophilic Design And How Can It Transform Lives?

What if we could rectify our relationship with the natural world by transforming how we construct our urban environment, ensuring that we function in harmony with nature.

Ever had that feeling or a need to escape the city and be in nature? For fulling this need is the basis of the biophilic design concept- it brings nature into the indoor environment.

The biophilic design aims to bring nature’s best qualities and integrate it into both architectural and interior design. Giving us all the perks of nature within an indoor space, it merges the gap between the urban environment and nature.

Why does this matter?

Biophilic design’s benefits are overwhelmingly positive for one’s mental health and well-being. The presence of nature gives us a sense of tranquillity. By incorporating nature into design, we bridge the contrast between humans’ indoor and outdoor environments, removing that desperation to ‘escape’ for a sense of relaxation.

Humans spend hardly any time outdoors, in fact we spend almost 90% of our day inside. The biophilic design concept opens up a world of possibilities and opportunities to give us a direct experience of nature indoors, while transforming cities and urban spaces.

Origins and history

Biophilia originates from the Greek word ‘philia’ meaning ‘love of living things’. The term encapsulates our innate human instinct to connect with nature and other living beings. Biophilic design was a term coined by Edward O. Wilson in 1984. Edward was a University Research Professor at Harvard and his work on biophilia outlined humans biological and fundamental attraction to nature.

Edward emphasised our need to emulate nature’s processes and structures in everyday life. Implementing Biophilia is an approach to design that feeds into our connection to living things. Buildings adopting this concept will aid in mental restoration, and improved productivity. The proximity to nature in Biophilic design improves the performance and well-being of humans in urban and indoor spaces.

Eco-friendly vs Biophilic Design

Taking eco-friendly to a new level, Biophilic design incorporates elements of the environment with the design of the building, immersing it in the landscape to reflect it. While eco-friendly elements can be used in the design and build process, biophilic design takes it one step further than solar power and energy-efficient appliances.

From the initial concept and design, the surrounding landscape is taken into consideration. Using natural elements within the design and build help us feel connected physically and mentally to nature.

Not only are Biophilic design concepts aesthetically pleasing, but they are also simultaneously eco-friendly. Biophilic design is crucial for providing green spaces, water features, plants, and natural materials within urban areas. These design adjustments reduce a development’s carbon footprint and regulate the temperature of buildings while creating a calming space.

Principles of Biophilic Design

Designing spaces according to nature, and designing spaces that incorporate nature, are essential principles of biophilic design.

Nature in the space
This refers to the direct presence of nature, like plants and other multi-sensory elements in a building. Incorporating natural light, water features, patterns, and fractals, or even the smell of natural elements in diffusers or atmosphere spray.

Nature of the space
In both the architecture and interior design, a space should incorporate natural elements. Office spaces, schools, or public buildings should emanate our connection to nature. A supply of natural light through windows and skylights, elements of greenery and views of nature in a building have profound health benefits.

Natural analogues
Making use of natural materials, like wood and stone, when building a space. Bringing natural elements and their shapes into the building design provides a sense of calmness and protection.

Indirect exposure to nature through images, like paintings or even wallpaper, provide a similar sense of calmness where views of nature and access to windows or natural light aren’t available. Although these elements may be non-living, our brains associate them with representations of living things, and so we feel connected to it.

The importance of Biophilic Design

This design concept centres on the idea that the great indoors should mimic the great outdoors to improve people’s lives–an insight that is backed up with increasing amounts of research.

The concept of incorporating natural elements into our urban world is beneficial for biodiversity. Construction of cities has long interrupted the natural landscape and its intricate ecosystems to make way for buildings and structures. In the ideal world of Biophilic design, there is room for both plants and animals to co-exist in an urban space.

At Roomzly, we understand the importance of Biophilic design and how it can transform lives. That’s why we actively use Biophilic design in our interior design solutions.

We welcome you to discuss your project together. We know it can be overwhelming choosing the correct interior style, but all it takes is a bit of understanding and exploring your options.

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