What Is Biophilic Design?

building made out of plants

Biophilic design dates back to the early 1980s, but it’s only recently that this concept has caught on. It derives from Edward O. Wilson’s philosophy of biophila, which hypothesizes that humans have an innate affinity for the natural world. It’s why we become more relaxed and more productive while surrounded by the natural elements. Biophilic design, then, intends to take advantage of this by bringing the outdoors in.

Bringing the natural world inside can be done through multiple ways. However, biophilic design typically relies on both direct and indirect experiences of nature.

Direct Experiences of Nature

Direct experiences of nature refer to directly interacting with natural elements. In other words, it means literally bringing the outdoors in. Here are a few ways this can be done:

  • Plants: Plants are perhaps the biggest part of the natural world. By growing plants indoors, you can appreciate the benefits that fresh vegetation provides. It can be as simple as placing a few potted plants by your desk, or installing an entire green wall.
  • Light: Artificial light is not the same as natural light. You can allow more light into your office by installing skylights or atriums. If you’re building something from scratch, you can also design your space so that it’s oriented towards the sun.
  • Water: Just the sound of water is enough to relax some of us. While you can’t bring a creek or lake inside of your office, you can install other water-related elements. Fountains, aquariums, and even indoor waterfalls can all bring a sense of beauty and calm.
  • Air: Ventilation, temperature, and humidity all have a huge impact on how we work. Through the proper use of windows and ventilation systems, you can promote comfort and productivity.

Indirect Experiences of Nature

Indirect experiences are all nature-related, but don’t often involved direct interaction with natural elements. In other words, it typically has to do with pictures of nature, natural color schemes, the use of natural materials, and more. These indirect experiences cannot replace the real thing, but they can work with the direct experiences to create an overall nature-like feel.

Foliage Design Systems uses biophilic design to create calming and welcoming office environments. To learn more about us, contact us today!

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