Monday, April 19, 2021

Connect with Nature with a Biophilic Design

Today, 55% of the world population lives in urban areas. 
By 2050, the population living in urban areas is predicted to rise to 68%. 
Unlike our ancestors, we spend 93% of our time indoors, with little to no connection to the natural elements. 
Throughout most of history, humans spent most of their time outside, so genetically, our bodies do not fair good spending so much time indoors. 
It comes as no surprise then that we often feel stressed, anxious, and stripped of life.
So, the question is. Can we work to reverse this recent change?
The Biophilic recent trend in architecture, design, and decor shows that we might achieve this. 
What is a Biophilic Design
The word "biophilia" translates as a love of life and all that is alive within Greek origins.
It suggests that we all have an innate attraction to nature, and this design trend seeks to improve many of the spaces that we live and work in today. 
Therefore, Biophilic Design is a concept within the building industry, architecture, and design movement that encourages connectivity to the natural environment through direct nature, raw materials, and space conditions. 
This design concept responds to the increasing rates of urbanisation, and biophilic design seeks to satisfy our innate need to affiliate with nature in modern buildings and cities. 


Distinguishing Features

  • Repeated and Sustained Engagement with Nature
  • Emphasis on the Overall Setting or Habitat and not Just a Single or Isolated Occurrence of Nature
  • The Use of Natural Materials such as wood
  • Natural Geometrics such as Fractals and Curves
  • Stimulating Natural Light and Air
  • Natural Colours 

The Benefits of Biophilic Design

There are far more benefits of the biophilic design on top of the aesthetically pleasing features.
Introducing natural elements within the spaces we live and work in has numerous benefits to our health and well-being. 
As our physical and mental well-being continues to rely on the quality of our connections to the world beyond ourselves, it is crucial to bring nature into artificial spaces. 
This will, improve the quality of our lives, making us feel calmer, more focused, and more content.
More and more companies are taking this approach to promote staff wellness and productivity, recognising the following benefits of the Biophilic Design:
  • Reduced Levels of Stress
  • Increased Productivity and Creativity
  • Improved Concentration, Engagement, and Cognitive Ability
  • Enhanced Social Interaction
  • Reduced Sick Days and Work-Related Absences 

How To Use a Biophilic Design in Your Own Home

In a non-natural space, Biophilic design aims to create a connection with nature.
Creating a healthier home can be achieved by using multisensory interactions, from thermal and visual to haptic and olfactory or anything else where the natural presence is clear and direct.
The three main ways to achieve biophilic decor are natural analogues, nature in space, natural analogues, nature of space.
Natural analogs include things that we can all incorporate in our homes for a better connection with nature, such as: 
  • Artwork reminding us of nature, pictures of flowers. Hillsides and countryside.
  • Natural materials such as wood. For example, in the bedroom, go for a timeless wooden bed instead of a bed upholstered with artificial fabrics.
  • Natural colours. Opt for earthy tones, clear blues reminding you of the sky and ocean, and variations of green within your decor.
  • Naturalistic shapes and forms. You can include these in your furniture pieces or by using naturally-inspired patterns with natural materials.
  • Add natural airflow. Louvre windows or blinds can be fully or partially opened, which can vary ventilation paths and control airspeed.
  • Make use of natural light, make sure your furniture isn't blocking windows, paint interior window frames white to amplify natural light.
  • Open layouts. Allows the air to circulate the room space. 

The nature in space refers to our direct connections to nature that invoke the most vital biophilic reactions, such as:
  • Potted Plants. Surround yourself with plants for a mini-restorative experience
  • Green roofs and Green Walls. A fantastic example is the plant-based installations or living walls that provide design opportunities to transform even the dullest interior.
  • Water Features. There are plenty of indoor options that will provide an ambient sound and light and replace the city's sound with the soothing sound of trickling water.
  • Natural sounds. Listen to natural sounds such as the birds chipping, a river flowing, or the ocean waves sound. 
The nature of the space refers to the world beyond our immediate surroundings and is more about space architecture. We should aim to include natural views of the outdoors in our interiors, so if you are lucky enough to have an ocean view or at least a garden view, open those blinds and let in nature.
When the city becomes too much to bear, too crowded, and your space feels too confined, it's time to affiliate with other forms of life and start feeling refreshed, energised, and rejuvenated. 
Daniela Ganea is a passionate Interior Designer and Content Writer for the Home Furnishing Industry. With a PR background, she combines her higher education with her passion for interiors by helping people with Interior Design and Styling tips for a happier home.


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