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

Post Covid 19 World and the Importance of Biophilic Design

Biophilic Design is more important now than ever, especially now living in a post Covid World where our health and wellbeing are more important than it has been before?

Nature has always been an influential tool in both architecture, interior and urban design. The positive impact nature has on humans is undeinable, with over 80% of people crediting the improvement to their mental health being down to nature.

A crucial turn to green architecture and design within living spaces that promote wellness through a connection with the natural world is more important than ever and is the key driving force to creating sustainable environments that improve the quality of life for everyone. Especially as more and more people are going to be spending a lot more time at home whether that will be working from home or social distancing from home.

Nendo's Kojimachi Terrace, for the Yokohama Ekimae Building. Photos: Takumi Ota

Nendo's Kojimachi Terrace, for the Yokohama Ekimae Building. Photos: Takumi Ota

The Isolating Realities of Homebound Living

In more recent times over the last couple of months, the role of our homes has changed. Since the global outbreak of COVID-19, social distancing and self-isolation restrictions that are now in place, sadly staying in isn’t just a choice any more it’s the new way of life.

Our indoor environments have become our safe oasis offering us protection and relief from the outside world. Although at the same time, this global pandemic has altered our interiors into a place of isolation rather than a place we just go home to everyday after work. Due to the restricted ability to enjoying the outdoors, we are more at risk of suffering with negative impacts on our mental health.

Credit: Revista Habitare - Photo Edison Garcia

Credit: Revista Habitare - Photo Edison Garcia

With the world pandemic already having left an unforgettable mark on the global wellbeing, the reality of being stuck indoors will stay with people for years to come. Architecture and design professionals are now having to evolve as designers and find new ways to create future- proof, health and wellness focused spaces that cater to isolating living, in the event of a pandemic strike again. With the hope that we will be more prepared in the future and have an improved way of living.

Pierre Thibault knows all about the calming effect of the shadow play from sun and trees.

 Home - Natural Eco & Sustainable Homewares for Wellbeing

Now that nature has proven to impact on our mental health in a positive way, could the principles of Biophilic design hold the key to creating a sustainable, calming and mentally stimulating spaces in the post – pandemic future?

Close up of green plant wall in modern living room.

Close up of green plant wall in modern living room.

Biophilic Design makes spaces Blossom

The term Biophilia means love of life or love of nature (bio=life/nature + philia=love). Biophilic design creates environments with multi-sensory experiences and the integration of elements such as natural materials, plants, water features, organic shapes, fresh air and daylight.

Gary Gladwish Architecture created the ‘Eagle Ridge Recidence’ for a client who always dreamed about living at Orcas Island.

Gary Gladwish Architecture created the ‘Eagle Ridge Recidence’ for a client who always dreamed about living at Orcas Island.

The human centered approach originated from the idea that humanity’s innate need to connect with nature has suffered through the process of living hectic lifestyles, always being on the go, technological advancements and urbanisation. Biophilic design can help solve this problem, as it incorporates natural elements into our built environments to help improve our health and wellbeing of people in society.

Oliver Heath Studio design for The Garden School, Hackney – Photo Oliver Heath

Oliver Heath Studio design for The Garden School, Hackney – Photo Oliver Heath

Following this design approach it has many benefits varying from both our cognitive functions to our overall health and wellbeing. Biophilic design goes beyond just our well – being, it can also help reduce stress, develop our creativity and aid in clarity of thought. Biophilia has been employed with great success in environment’s where residents have spent a considerable amount of time in these places, such as residential dwellings, educational facilities, workplaces and health facilities. Throughout these environments the integration of natural elements has helped to improve wellbeing, faster recovery, cognitive performance and productivity.

Credit: The Organic Company

Credit: The Organic Company , Source DforDesignstyle

Inviting the Outdoors In

You can incorporate the outdoors in through the use of organic shapes in furnishings and construction, diverse lighting and water features, appropriate airflow and temperature; and the use of natural materials and visual patterns. Biophilia creates a multitude of opportunities to evoke nature and build a stress-relieving sanctuary. You can improve the wellbeing of a space through a variety of elements and experiences.

The house in Joshua Tree was designed in the 1980s by organic architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg for artist Bev Doolittle and her husband Jay.

The house in Joshua Tree was designed in the 1980s by organic architect Kendrick Bangs Kellogg for artist Bev Doolittle and her husband Jay.

Biophilic design allows designers to create an outdoor environment into an indoor space which can be both directly and indirectly. You can achieve a direct experience of nature within a space through using elements such as light, plants and water features. Whereas you can incorporate indirect elements of nature through textures, materials, patterns and colours that evoke visual hints from the natural environment e.g. stone, wood or grain.

Credit - Abigail Ahern

Credit - Abigail Ahern 

Although one of the simplest and easiest ways to directly incorporate nature in the built environment is through the inclusion of flora. This could be indoor house plants, to creating a living wall in a courtyard or even having a moss wall which requires little maintenance. You could even design a space the orientates around a natural outdoor view. As the visual connection of nature has a calming effect, the process of photosynthesis improves air quality.

Strickland-Ferris Residence / Frank Harmon Architect

Strickland-Ferris Residence / Frank Harmon Architect

Although you must keep in mind that the direct connection to nature is key to any Biophilic design, but the indirect connection to nature is still as important and we would even consider it to be more so.

Natural Analogues

By incorporating indirect features of nature, it allows us designers to propose visual and tactile reminders that mirror organic, textures, colours and patterns to help alleviate our stresses and improve our overall comfort. This can create both practical and sustainable benefits especially if you are struggling to incorporate direct natural elements into your home.

Designed by Kennedy Nolan

Designed by Kennedy Nolan

Organic Architecture

Organic Architecture 

With the uncertainty of a post – COVID – 19 future designers and architects are now looking to find new and innovative ways of designing environment’s for our new reality. As Biophilic designers ourselves, Biophilia offers a reliable structure to incorporate the benefits of nature into our built environment’s. This could help us to create houses of the future where we can function in happily whether that will be isolated or not.

Alexandra Kehayoglou creates unique wool rugs that serve as an eye-catching addition to any room.

Alexandra Kehayoglou creates unique wool rugs that serve as an eye-catching addition to any room. 

 

If you want to learn more on how to incorporate Biophilia and how to implement Biophilic elements into your design. Book on to our Awestruck Biophilic workshop series. Book your 1 to 1 today with us, where you will leave with one mood board and an understanding of how to implant Biophilic Design into your interior.

Email us at harleen@harleenmclean.com

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