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Biophilic Design: Great Tips and Ideas

Biophilic Design
Image Source: staticflickr.com

Concerned regarding your health? Want to improve your lifestyle? Something refreshing? So, what can better than adding a little touch of biophilic design into your lives and your homes!

As more and more people are migrating to urban areas, places are getting congested, and ultimately, people are getting disconnected from nature day by day. Now, people, designers, and businessmen have realized this arising issue in society and come up with this one solution- biophilic design.

But, what is biophilic? Is it just about growing some plants indoor? How can you make your home more biophilic?

It is not that complicated. It is just about knowing what and why is the right thing for you!

What Is Biophilic?

Biophilic simply means more plants, greenery and it’s trendy more than ever! As people feel discounted to nature, more and more people are adapting this biophilic lifestyle.

This led to a boom in many startups companies for plants-obsessed customers and people who want to bring some freshness into their lifestyle in urban areas. However, it is easily misunderstood that adding more plants is enough, but it is so much more than that, and it’s kinda exciting to know that if it’s not just that, then what else we are not seeing?

Biophilic Design

It’s a character that includes interior design, not just as a functional discipline or aesthetic but also, as a medicine to improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing. The biophilic design goes back to the late 1970s, when a naturalist and a biologist Edward Osborne Wilson, defined his philosophy of biophilia, hypothesizing that people have an inherent, biological affection for the mother nature.

The idea has been taken one step further by the biophilic design: as more and more people today are spending 90% of their time indoors. According to the 2001 survey by National Human Activity Pattern Survey, it was found that it’s important to bring some outside environment in and create such an environment that attributes nature in both subtle and obvious ways.

Productivity has been tied to plants according to a study. Two studies were conducted; Norwegian researchers found that people who did the attention-based tasks and reading surrounded by plants(greenery) improved their marks more overtime than the people who didn’t.

How biophilic works? “Attention restoration theory is one idea”: You or many tend to spend a lot of time at offices and work in intense focus, which often leads to mental fatigue.

How does this help? Spending a little as few seconds distracting you and your eyes from your laptop or phone screen to look at a plant on your desk could help your mind to take a break and would help you gain your focus. This idea leads companies like Etsy, Google, Apple, and many more to adopt the biophilic design to make their employees hard-working, more creative, and happier.

Most tech companies have the same walls, indoor environment, and are so common that they’ve become a design adage. Now, desks and office tables are designed by furniture companies in such that it comes with an inbuilt plant holder.

The Elementary Challenge of Biophilic Design:

Biophilic Design
Image Source: live.staticflickr.com
  • It lacks the modern built environment- 

    However, you can achieve it by setting up a new framework according to your favorable occurrences of nature.

  • The proper use of biophilic designs starts by practicing the previously characterized basic principles, from there, the right parts of biophilic design can be engaged to help implement beneficial and positive outcomes.
  • Previously characterized basic principles can be found.

The Use and Applications of Biophilic Design:

INDIRECT EXPERIENCE OF NATURE

•    Evoking Nature
•    Natural Materials Simulating Natural Light and Air
•    Natural Colors
•    Simulating Natural Light and
•    Cultural and Ecological Attachment to Place
•    Air Naturalistic Shapes and Forms
•    Images of Nature
•    Mobility and Wayfinding

DIRECT EXPERIENCE OF NATURE

  • Animals
  • Water
  • Light
  • Weather
  • Natural Landscapes and Ecosystems
  • Air
  • Plants

7 Elegant Biophilic Design Ways

  1. Biophilic Design Creates Happy, Healthy Office Environments.

The outstanding benefits of biophilic design have been shown by research is rising. The involvement that mimics natural systems and absorbs nature is linked to fast recovery from illness, reduced stress, and enhanced creativity.

In an office, biophilic design approach tactics engaged in the workplace increases the wellbeing of workers and employees and so aid other benefits like financially by decreasing the use of sick leaves. The yearly saving for a corporation can amount up to more than $2,000 per employee.

  1. Biophilic Is Not Just About More Greenery.

So, the addition of plant life in indoor environments is the obvious use of biophilia/biophilic design; however, this is nearly the beginning.

Human feedback to mother nature goes much further. For example, people who respond to design and biomorphic patterns seen in nature are preferred.  Even though you understand these designs are non-living, however, your brain associated them as a portrayal of living things.

Browning clarifies that the Fibonacci sequence that is included in its examples, which often look like spiral and leaf arrangement in nature.

Biomimicry (mimicking nature) is commonly referred to as the usee of fractals and patterns in design and is a part of a comprehensive approach to biophilic design.

  1. Light Is a Part of Our Cadence.

Biophilic Design
Image Source: darcawards.com

Increasing natural light will aid you and your electricity bills. However, biophilic involve engaging natural lighting from dispersal to earthly changes.

Many companies are selling light system that not just artificially and naturally changes throughout the whole day to mimic our day-to-day rhythm helping you to link to the outside environment and, importantly, keep you on track with your natural 24-hour cycle.

Increase natural light as much as possible and make changes throughout the day to enhance your visual comfort.

Remember, light is important!

  1. Your Body and Mind Love Being Around Water.

Things that add the existence of water to the area have many health benefits, among memory restoration, lowered blood pressure, and lowered heart rate.

Research from empirical research has found that being around water maximizes the feeling of calmness and in a long term preference.

  1. You Can Feel Nature Is in the Air:

Biophilic Design
Image Source: odosarquitetura.com

While it reasonably seems best to indoor condition the same (like the temperature in your workplace, for example). As a human, we never stop learning, and many studies have shown an increase in performance of mind in areas with variability in airflow and temperature.

You will feel more awake every morning with proper air simulation, also naturally maximizing your performance and focus.

  1. Appealing to Various Senses Makes More Sense:

To most effectively reach you with biophilic design, it’s best to target for multi-sensory stimuli. Imagine not just being able to see nature around you, but also able to hear or feel nature around you. Think about how much it will positively impact you.

The ability to feel airflow, hear water, and smell plants are easy examples of the biophilic design.

  1. Don’t Fake Nature!

While the presence of real mother nature is far much better than to derive psychological and physiological benefits of biophilic design, the aspect that mimics nature is not without some interest, too.

Putting natural paintings and the applications of biophilic design also improves the attention of space. If you can’t add a window in an existing space, opportunities that mimic nature are a feasible option.

Biophilic Design for Outside Home:

Biophilic Design
Image Source: evilleeye.com

Yes, its effects go beyond traditional indoor design for offices and homes, especially, in designing a healthcare facility. There is a healing park in a hospital in Washington where patients and their loved ones can relax. In Anaheim, there is an oncology center where patients have a view of the zen garden outside, while in Toronto, there is a hospital that provides a view of a park in each of their patients.

The cancer center now looks like a treehouse than a hospital. That’s because it has been shown in many studies that you are tent to heal more when you have access to nature. To gain the health benefits of biophilic designs, you don’t have to be in the forest.

Some examples:- In New York, there is a startup name Parsley Health, and it is heavily influenced by biophilic design while infusing the space. A clinic in Manhattan is filled with plants, a ceiling-to-floor window that immerse the area with natural lighting, natural elements like wood, and a light and plant installation that adjust based on time of the day and the seasons.

Guided by biophilic design, the design team works and structure around core elements, published by Terrapin Bright Green, which is a strategic planning firm and environmental consulting in 2014.

Those fundamental principles include features neglected in building design, like constructing long vistos to give tourists a sense of viewpoint within an interior space.

Meet Terrarium!

At this point, you know how biophilic design can help you heal faster, increase your focus, help you connect to nature, and many more. However, today, just redesigning your home is not enough! As more and more people are still disconnecting and neglecting their health due to the over-use of the smartphone.

There might be a solution! How about you add some plants on your phone? Sounds unrealistic, right? But, No! It’s possible with Terrarium.

The Terrarium is one of my favorite applications that I often use to relax and focus as it’s entirely based on biophilic design to help you relax and stops you from distracting from your goals. It is a fun game app available on a smartphone.

It is the most calming crop idle game where you can grow, discover and collect lovely plants to expand your garden and increase your oxygen income! Here, you  can get zen and calm even without going to yoga!

Understanding the Need for Biophilic Design:

Biophilic Design
Image Source: belleabouttown.com

It is essential to know that biophilic design is not limited to some new ways to make you more efficient by implementing an innovative technical tool.

The successful use of biophilic design essentially depends on accepting a new awareness toward nature, identifying how much your mental and physical wellbeing continues to reply on the quality of your connection to the world beyond ourselves.

The biophilic design relies on sustained and repeated engagement with nature. An isolated, occasional, and transient experience of nature strive only fleeting and superficial effects on humans, and can even, at times, be at deviation with promoting beneficial outcomes.

The biophilic design promotes emotional connection to places and settings. By satisfying your inherent affection to associate with nature, the biophilic design causes an emotional connection to particular places and spaces. These emotional connections can motivate your performance and productivity and prompt you to identify yourself with sustaining the places you inhabit.

The biophilic design highlights human acceptance to the natural world that, over changing time have proven instrumental in improving your health, wellbeing, and fitness. Uncovering the nature irreverent to your productivity and survival applies little impact on your wellbeing and is not an adequate instance of biophilic design.

Biophilic Design
Image Source: wikimedia.org

Sadly, our modern society has barely supported the need to connect with nature, creating various problems to the satisfying experience of the natural world, usually treating nature as simple a raw substance to be transformed through technology, however, not as a necessary aesthetic and recreational amenity.

This growing separating from nature is reflected in our modern healthcare, agriculture, education, architectural design, manufacturing, and urban development.

The modern thinking that you and I don’t need to connect with nature is revealed in the extensive practice of placing humans in artificial and sensory deprived setting such as schools,  shopping centers, hospitals office buildings-with any contact with nature stimuli and forced.

Nowadays, most of the built environment is designed, lacking environmental shapes and forms, vegetation, natural light, natural ventilation, vegetation, and other likings for the natural world. In many ways, these arrangements remind us of the arid sensory improvised cages like the old-style zoo, which are no ironically banned.

People like you and me have just started to find that these environmentally barren habitats foster impaired performance, fatigue, and symptoms of a disease and the simple introduction of vegetation, natural lighting, and outside views can result in enhanced productivity and health. It’s time that the world switches to options like Biophilic Design.

What do you think?

Written by Ayush Singh

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