The benefits of biophilia design lets us take that overall sense of well being when exposed to nature and replicate it in our homes. Think of that invigorated feeling you get when you step away from the office for some fresh air.
So, what is biophilic design? In a nutshell, it’s our love of nature and the connections we have to it. How great would it be to work and play in a space that constantly connects you to nature? I mean who doesn’t want to get down with a relaxed state of mind!
Studies have shown that there are many health benefits associated with biophilia. When there’s a consistent connection to nature you can experience improved cognitive functions, reduced mental fatigue, and better concentration levels. Other additional benefits are, lower heart rates, less concentrations of cortisol, enhanced creativity, a higher air quality, and a decrease of anxiety.
Biophilic design has three main categories:
nature in the space, natural analogues, and nature of the space. Within each category there are distinctive patterns, so let’s break them down.
Photo: Hirouyki Oki/Archdaily
Nature in the space – is the direct presence of nature in the space and can be achieved with:
- Wind chimes or nature sounds
- Fresh potted plants, flower walls and terrariums.
- Scents from diffusers, or candles and if those scents are food related to stimulate the memory of taste, even better
- Plants, trees and flowers that bloom at different times of the year
- The breeze from a ceiling fan, the cross breeze from a window(s) or HVAC
- Water features, pool, jacuzzi, aquarium, steam room, or a playlist with water sound effects
- Natural sunlight from windows, a skylight, dimmer switches, sheer curtains or fabric blinds for diffused lighting and to create shadows
- Sunrooms or patios that provided unobstructed views to observe nature as the seasons change
Natural Analogues – are non living and indirect objects like materials, colors, shapes, sequences and patterns that can be brought in through:
- Building design
- Facade ornamentation
Nature of the space – addresses our ability to see beyond our surroundings. It taps into our fascination with the unknown, obscured views, and even fearful properties if there’s an element of safety present. Anyone ever stand in the glass box on the 103rd floor of the John Hancock Center in Chicago? Incorporate nature of space with things like:
- Floating Staircase
- Enclosed reading Nooks
- Infinity pools
- Tree house
To really embrace Biophilic design and its benefits you can’t just add a few plants here and there. You’ll need to be bold and really bring the outdoors in. Instinctively you may have already incorporated some of these elements into your home. If you can stand to add more, hit us up on instagram @cumberscorner to show us your latest additions.