The need to be connected to nature – and the benefits that answering this brings – are not new concepts. But for the first time, we are able to measurably understand the profound impact this has in a built environment. And then answer this innate desire by applying biophilic principles in the design of buildings and interiors.
Biophilic design uses fresh air, daylight and water features. It creates visual and physical connections with nature. It incorporates natural materials, or those that mimic nature and natural forms. And then uses an understanding of human evolution to guide the design, finishes and furnishings – and bring out certain emotions in the dwellers. All because spaces that reflect familiar natural habitats, like open or sheltered spaces, are coded into our DNA.
It’s incredible to think that such simple steps could have such a beneficial impact to a company’s bottom line and the emotional wellbeing of its employees; on the way students learn, or how hospital patients heal. It inspires us to reconnect with nature – and change the human experience of interiors for the better.
We have searched far and wide for projects that live and breathe biophilic design principles. Take a look at the latest articles – and be sure to revisit this section, as we’ll be updating it regularly.
If you have worked on a biophilia inspired project or know of one that excites you, we would love to see your case studies and designs.
Hotel. Café. Tearoom. Gallery. Boutique. It’s hard to define Hôtel Droog in Amsterdam because it blends several different entities into a single location. But it does have a very distinct concept based around constantly delighting – and surprising – its patrons.Full story
Inspired by gardens, public thoroughfares and Italian piazzas, Turkish firm Yerce Architecture has transformed a furniture company’s headquarters in Izmir to reinforce the business’ perception through the natural atmosphere of the space.Full story
From their London studio, Haptic Architects looked to the extraordinary Norwegian landscape and forests as inspiration for a new 300-room hotel and conferencing venue in Oslo. Their challenge was to create internal, interconnected spaces that felt intimate and restful. But at the same time, these areas needed to be flexible, easy to get around and capable of holding large-scale events.Full story
Daeyang Gallery and House is made of three pavilions – each with its own distinct use – and a private gallery beneath, that use water and light to create a sense of continuity between the pavilions and the outside world...Full story
Built in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2011, this outstanding 20,667 sq ft three-storey residence is based on a pure square, constructed from a single material – cast-concrete. In some ways this is the perfect example of the sphere, the universal celestial form, transformed to its terrestrial expression of the cube.Full story
The truth of biophilia is no longer possible to ignore. Scientific studies have proved the physical, psychosocial, and practical benefits of biophilia in fields as diverse as healthcare, education, manufacturing, and more.
And today, more than ever, biophilic design is both a restorative design strategy and a competitive business opportunity, driving innovations in aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability. Here, we feature an article by environmental consultants Terrapin Bright Green that outlines the economic advantages of designing with nature in mind.
The economics of biophilia
Why designing with nature in mind makes financial senseFind out more
In 1994 we launched Mission Zero – our commitment to eliminate any negative impact our company may have on the environment by the year 2020. It’s a vision that was partially inspired by the book Biophilia. The crux of it lay in the evidence that personal accountability for nature grows as our emotional connection to nature grows too. And a personal connection with nature gives more people reason to do the right thing: embrace sustainability.
Every decision our founder, Ray Anderson, and the business has made since 1994 – whether to do with design, innovation, and manufacturing – was intended to bring us one step closer to our sustainability goals. And set an example for the world about our collective need to respect, protect, and learn from nature.
From ideation to completion, for all the products we manufacture, we take into account the impact they will have on our wellbeing and future. We call it “Design With Purpose™”.
This rationale has led us to the creation of Urban Retreat™. By reflecting the living world around us in its design, materials and method of manufacture, the collection helps satisfy our fundamental desire to tune into nature – and so has a major part to play in boosting the productivity of the world’s businesses.
The collection is quiet and serene. It uses natural neutrals to introduce the energy and invigorating qualities of nature into the business environment, complementing biophilic designs that are already in place perfectly or planting the seeds for the further integration of new natural elements. This is Urban Retreat.
Together, we can create entire spaces that are not only kind to the environment and more environmentally responsible, but restorative for the human spirit, too. Because we understand that lack of human contentment and wellbeing in the workplace comes at a high price.