Recognising the difference between how a building looks and how it feels
Translating as ‘love of life’ or ‘love of living systems’, biophilia recognises the instinctive need for humans to be in touch with nature. A recent survey found that 1 in 3 British workers (34%) have no access to green space for their lunch break*. This lack of connection with nature can have a detrimental impact on health and wellbeing.
Plants, as well as sound and smell, can be used in different ways to enhance our working environments.
The 8 elements of biophilic interior landscape design:
- Create the feel of nature indoors through a degree of randomness and informality.
- Recreate the illusion of overlooking a landscape.
- Blur the boundary from outside to in.
- Create interest with light and shade through the foliage of interior plants.
- Use natural (and local) materials such as plant containers.
- Provide shelter and privacy.
- Incorporate the sound or sight of water.
- Use natural scents and perfumes to add an extra dimension.
Kenneth Freeman, Head of innovation for Ambius, believes “creating the right feel for a space can be frustratingly elusive and in many cases it’s because a connection with nature is missing. However, there are simple techniques we can incorporate into office design that will offer that connection.”
“Plants in particular are often treated as an afterthought. If they are considered earlier in the design process there’s a better chance their benefits will be maximised. The beauty of plants is that they are truly multifunctional, they not only make us feel better, they can help remove toxins from the air, act as a cooling system and make great design statements.”
By applying the elements of biophilic interior design, we can all restore the connection with nature using natural materials and planting to add more than just an aesthetic value to a building.”
* Source: Ambius ‘Connect with Nature’ survey http://bit.ly/connect-with-nature-results