Biophilia means a love of nature.
It’s a concept that was introduced in the 60’s: that we humans are genetically predisposed to enjoy nature, and that being in nature benefits us. Natural shapes, materials, plants, trees, water and animals make us feel better. Something we are all familiar with…birdsong in the garden, all those lockdown walks, the hotel room with a seaview and the panoramic view at the top of a mountain. They make us feel good. Nature makes us feel better physically and mentally.
An American biologist Edward O. Wilson penned the first book on Biophilia in 1984 after Eric Fromm, a German psychologist, coined the term “Biophilia” in his writing in 1964. The concept has been gathering momentum ever since. Subsequently this theory has been scientifically proven across all corners of the globe.
As our existence over time has become more urbanised and technology reliant, we are now spending 80-90% of our lives indoors. With less opportunity to wind down, and recover from the stresses of daily life, heart disease, mental health disorders and stress related illnesses are on the rise at an alarming rate. A current line of thinking suggests that our surroundings are as equal in importance as nutrition and exercise to our health.
Biophilic design is all about human-centred space and fetching the outdoors indoors. The physical presence of nature, the visual connection with nature, good air quality, acoustic comfort, natural lighting and the inclusion of restorative spaces. These environment improvers have a very physical effect on us: lowering blood pressure, reducing anxiety and decreasing fatigue. The benefits continue: increasing productivity, promoting creativity, reducing absenteeism in the workplace and decreasing recovery time in healthcare spaces. Powerful stuff!
In 2021 a sense of calm at home and having an inviting and productive workspace to go back to has never been more important. We are more conscious about the value of our mental health and more aware of the simple steps we can take to help ourselves. Harnessing biophilia is a really key way forward in helping ourselves be well.
Plants and trees are undoubtedly a secret weapon in biophilic design. Whether it’s a table top bowl, a commanding display or a living green wall, these oxygen pumping organisms are the connection to nature that we need. Beautiful air purifiers and noise absorbers that make us feel good.
We believe that plants are an essential and integrated part of a successful design blueprint rather than a decorative afterthought. Good design is about fetching all the elements we need to be well into our surroundings whether it’s a home, a restaurant or an office.
If you need a steer with your Biophilic Design, this is what we do.
Biophilic professionals greening up the UK since 1974.