Introducing Awestruck Biophilic Design - bringing the outdoors indoors through the exploration of wellbeing

How Biophilic Design can Improve the Modern World we Live in?

Image Credit - Apartment Therapy 

 

In today’s world living within a world pandemic people have begun to turn to the world of plants. From having hanging baskets in their garden, to creating their own mini indoor garden of tropical plants, terrariums and cacti, to even building your own living wall. As more people are stuck indoors and working from home (figures are showing that this is as high as 35% more since lockdown), they are turning to nature to help console themselves. Living in an urban world can make nature more difficult to access but Biophilic Design is there to help people reconnect within their built-up environments.

Vão Arquitetura organises São Paulo boutique around indoor garden- Image Credit Alice Morby
Vão Arquitetura organises São Paulo boutique around indoor garden- Image Credit Alice Morby, Dezeen

Although most people have always associated being outside as ‘good for you’, research has shown through many studies that growing up in green spaces can reduce the risk of mental health issues. Did you know for instance that growing up near green spaces can reduce the risk of developing mental health problems by 55% ?

Gensler and Tom Dixon/Design Research Studio have developed and completed the design of a new office space for McCann in New York City. Image Credit - Officesnapshot
Gensler and Tom Dixon/Design Research Studio have developed and completed the design of a new office space for McCann in New York City. Image Credit - Officesnapshot

In the 1980’s Edward. O. Wilson discovered that people who were moving from rural areas to city centres, were experiencing dramatic psychological and physiological problems. Now people realise that nature does not just affect and benefit their childhood but also their everyday work life. Businesses are also starting to wake and up to this and are incorporating nature within their office and workplace environments. By incorporating Biophilic Design we can take it past a few potted plants and allow for that human connection with nature whether that be inside the home, office or even hospital.

House in Moriyama  Design: Suppose design office, architects  Location: Nagoya, southwest Japan  Photos: Toshiyuki Yanoe
House in Moriyama  Design: Suppose design office, architects  Location: Nagoya, southwest Japan  Photos: Toshiyuki Yanoe
JW Marriot Marquis Miami
Image Credit - JW Marriot Marquis Miami
The Terminus Hotel,Abbotsford, SHR design collaborators Techne Architecture + Interior Design, Photography, Lauren Bamford
The Terminus Hotel, Abbotsford, SHR design collaborators Techne Architecture + Interior Design, Photography, Lauren Bamford

There has been an evolution in office design, going from the boring mundane everyday office, too today’s office of Biophilic dreams, where Biophilic Design elements can be seen everywhere. From restaurants to hospitals, from airports to boardrooms or even just a simple office room in your house, nature is being brought into people’s lives.  For some it can just simply be by adding a little house plant here and there. (House plants sales are up 16.49%.) Others are allowing more natural light into your home, by using lightweight airy fabrics or even using mirrors to reflect the light in. Weathered wood is another great way of incorporating biophilic elements into your home.

Sydney House by Fearns Studio, Photographs are by Tom Ferguson
Sydney House by Fearns Studio, Photographs are by Tom Ferguson
Eco-Friendly Bohemian WeddingBy Yana Dales, Image Credit © 2020 TAMGA Designs Sustainable & Ethical Women’s Fashion Store
Eco-Friendly Bohemian WeddingBy Yana Dales, Image Credit © 2020 TAMGA Designs Sustainable & Ethical Women’s Fashion Store

Research has shown how environmental design can have positive impacts of our health, creativity and even productivity. This can just simply be done by adding flowers around the house. How about adding flowers or a potted plant to the office desk? Another study has shown that women who surrounded themselves with flowers were always significantly less stressed than those who didn’t. At the Parsley Clinic in New York, the architects used Biophilic Design in the clinical doctor’s offices to create a more holistic, calming and natural office environment. By this way they are hoping to take advantage of the studies that have shown how Biophilic elements can reduce the need of pain relief and allow patients to take a more natural approach to healing.  

Earthy and homey details feature in New York clinic Parsley Health by Alda Ly, Design team: Alda Ly, Loretta Choi, Daisy Hook, Photography is by Reid Rolls
Earthy and homey details feature in New York clinic Parsley Health by Alda Ly, Design team: Alda Ly, Loretta Choi, Daisy Hook, Photography is by Reid Rolls
Earthy and homey details feature in New York clinic Parsley Health by Alda Ly, Design team: Alda Ly, Loretta Choi, Daisy Hook, Photography is by Reid Rolls
Earthy and homey details feature in New York clinic Parsley Health by Alda Ly, Design team: Alda Ly, Loretta Choi, Daisy Hook, Photography is by Reid Rolls

Another amazing example has been with Amazon’s new headquarters in Seattle. The sphere domes are home to 40,000 plants including a 55-foot tree. Wouldn’t this be an amazing place to work in? Amazon anticipated that the rainforest would promote interaction with nature and adopt creativity within their staff. Again, another survey showed that just having plants alone within the office can increase employee’s creativity by 15%.

Amazon headquarters in Seattle Image Credit - r/ArchitecturePorn
Amazon headquarters in Seattle Image Credit - r/ArchitecturePorn
The Spheres in the New Amazon Headquarters,Photographs by Stuart Isett and Amazon
The Spheres in the New Amazon Headquarters,Photographs by Stuart Isett and Amazon 

The Amazon headquarters is on a grand scale but another example of the use of plants has been with Second Home’s co- working offices in Portugal. These have nearly 2,000 plants. Second Home observed that there were no straight lines in nature and therefore why should there be straight lines in interior and architecture design. A flower for instance does not have straight lines? It is important to also look at the Fractal design that naturally occurs in nature.  Again, this is another form of biophilic design that one survey was shown to aid recovery with stress by up to 60% when looking at nature inspired fractural design/imagery.

Second Home Lisbon, image © iwan baan
Second Home Lisbon, image © iwan baan
Second Home Lisbon, image © iwan baan
Second Home Lisbon, image © iwan baan

When we look at a Biophilic Design we must look at the relationship that the person has with the interior of a building as much as we do with the actual architectural structure.