Despite the documented benefits of getting outside and experiencing nature firsthand, students spend most of the day indoors and a growing proportion of that time is spent staring at a computer screen. This reality reinforces the value of applying biophilic design principles to a new school building or campus renovation to create a better learning environment for students.
Biophilic Design Defined
Biophilic design has received growing attention in recent years. The idea that nature connections help to inspire, calm and nurture us almost seems like common sense. Biologist Edward O. Wilson, who literally wrote the book “Biophilia,” describes our innate tendency to affiliate with nature.
Biophilic design acknowledges this reality and focuses on strategies to increase occupant connections to the natural environment. This is achieved through a combination of direct connections, simulated nature, and space and place conditions.
While social distancing remains a priority, outdoor venues have provided opportunities to get outside and gather in small groups. Restaurants across the country have been able to open outdoor seating areas prior to dine-in options. Many of the current interior design trends for outdoor spaces reflect their popularity for life plan communities, 55+ housing, school and university campuses and hospitality venues.
Even when we are not experiencing a pandemic, biophilic design principles reinforce the value of spaces that meet our innate need for nature connections. The WELL Building Standard calls for its projects to have a biophilia plan to incorporate nature through environmental elements, lighting and space layout. This includes interior settings as well as porches, patios, courtyards, dining terraces, pool decks and rooftop venues that encourage people to get outdoors.
As many of us have become telecommuters, at least for the time being, we are taking a look at how flipping the recent Resimercial Design trend could be beneficial to our productivity and well-being. We asked a few of our interior designers to suggest some commercial office design features that could be applied to our home workspaces.
Record-breaking lows, wind chills, snowstorms and precipitation mixes can make the winter months seem long in much of the United States. Even places like Phoenix, Arizona and Southern California have recently experienced unusual snowfalls. As many of us are already looking forward to the arrival of spring in the next month or two, there are a number of ways to brighten interior spaces during the remaining cold and dark days of winter.
Physical workspace is an important, often overlooked, component of employee satisfaction – not only for recruitment of new employees, but also for maintaining your existing workforce. The evolution of the WELL Building Standard reflects growing awareness and interest in creating healthy workspaces that promote employee engagement, productivity, health and well-being. Launched in 2014 by a former Wall Street veteran, Paul Scalia, WELL originated to promote a healthier version of the modern office.
Biophilic design Biophilia is a relatively obscure term for a basic principle – humans are instinctively drawn to nature; it nurtures, calms and inspires us. German social psychologist Erich Fromm coined the term in 1964 to describe our innate need to be connected to nature. E.O. Wilson, American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author of the book “Biophilia,” came up with the biophilia hypothesis—that the deep affiliations humans have with other life forms and nature as a whole are rooted in our biology.