An emerging architectural movement called biophilic design aims to incorporate a bit of nature into our buildings. This is an exciting adjustment for those of us who are unable to spend enough time outdoors. Defined as “a focus on those aspects of the natural world that have contributed to human health and productivity in the age-old struggle to be fit and survive”, to put it simply, biophilic design is all about bringing the outside inside. Studies have shown that humans prefer an environment involving some sort of natural scene and that interacting with nature makes people feel both happier and healthier. On average, people spend 90% of their day indoors, which is why Biophilia (love of nature) is of ever-increasing importance to our health and well-being in the built environment.
Here are some ways that biophilic design can be implemented into a space:
Increasing natural light benefits not only your energy bill, but people as well. A lighting system that changes periodically throughout the day (either naturally or artificially) to mimic our circadian rhythm helps to connect us to the outdoors as well as enhance visual comfort. A great option is USAI Lighting's technologies, with the widest range of tunable white light color temperatures available. This system brings beneficial qualities of natural light into the workplace can, with or without windows.
A more indirect experience of nature can be found with using biomorphic patterns that can be seen in nature. Even though we understand these patterns are non-living, our brains associate them with representations of living things. One of our favorite vendors who successfully achieves this is Interface. When it comes to nature, they are experts at using the power of biophilic inspired designs through product collections that directly mimic natural surfaces and textures.
While many buildings are equipped with high-quality air conditioners and air filters, there is no substitute for fresh natural air. Indoor plants can be extremely effective at taking toxins from the air and cleaning them, while producing clean oxygen. These small but might organisms capture and remove toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and hexane from the air, which is why we try to incorporate live plants into our designs as much as possible.
With Biophilic design becoming more wide-spread, the future of design is filled with possibilities for improving our quality of life, our personal health, and our
individual sense of well-being, both at home, at work, and in society as a whole.