Interior Design Trends

Biophilic Design: connecting to nature in a modern world

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Let me start this out by saying I’m not a huge nature person. I’m not someone who craves being in the great outdoors all the time. Most of the time, I’m very content in a concrete jungle. But I will say, even as a hesitant partaker in nature, I can absolutely acknowledge the psychological benefits. So I was really intrigued with this design concept I heard of several months ago, called biophilic design.

There’s a reason why people love having so many plants in their house — although some people might go a little overboard. It connects your space to nature. Biophilic design is all about connecting our biological and psychological need to connect with nature with modern design. This, in turn, enhances our mental and physical wellbeing. It’s been proven to reduce stress, clear your mind, enhance creativity, and even speed up physical healing.

Biophilic design - Restaurant wall with wood and greenery that says. "stay true to your roots"
Restaurant wall in Alpharetta, GA

so what does biophilic design look like?

Biophilic design is more than just plants, though. Sure, bringing plants and greenery into your space is awesome. And I’m a sucker for a good plant wall. But there are so many other ways to introduce this concept into design in much more creative and subtle ways.

Marquês de Pombal residence hall in Lisbon, Portugal

One way that I have been personally introducing this concept in a small way into my own home is bringing in more natural materials, such as wood and stone. I have been especially obsessed with wood the last year or so.

In addition to the actual, physical natural objects, you can mimic natural patterns that occur in nature. You see this a lot in architecture, where they mimic the waves of the ocean or of the living organisms of a cell in the design of the building.

But it can also be seen in everyday interiors. Sculptures or artwork that bring to mind elements of nature. A rug with the same texture as coral. Basically anything with the same essence of nature.

But biophilic design can also be not quite as concrete. It can also be a window that spans the whole length of the wall looking out onto beautiful nature views. Auditory cues also connect your space to nature, such as sounds of wind and falling water. There can also be smells of nature to ground you — why do you think “rain” is such a popular candle scent?

coming from a city girl at heart…

What I’ve realized is that you don’t have to be a “nature person” to enjoy the benefits of nature that we’re literally hardwired to receive. And honestly, when nature is incorporated into interiors, that means you get to enjoy the benefits even if you don’t want to be out among the dirt and the bugs.

Biophilic design

Some of the best design I’ve ever come across usually employs at least a couple of tactics of biophilic design. Whether it’s in the stunning architecture, a “living wall” full of ivy and moss, an indoor waterfall that’s sound is immediately calming, or even just the fresh smells of nature. The impact is tangible. This can be useful in creating a relaxing, inviting home and an inspiring workplace alike.

It’s definitely been picking up steam in both residential and commercial design the last several years.

I’m no academic resource, so I won’t bore you with the actual, researched evidence found for the benefits of biophilia. But I would definitely recommend searching up some studies that connect it to mental and physical outcomes. If you’re interested, it’s some fascinating shit.

keep it homey, homies

(4) Comments

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