Health and wellness. LEED and Well Buildings. Innovation in design. In today’s world of work, designers are increasingly encouraged and motivated to involve features that introduce and incorporate elements that bring more of the natural world into the built environment. As such, biophilic design is being used more and more.
For those not acquainted with the term biophilia in the context of design, it takes root (no pun intended) from the idea that humans possess an inherent inclination to affiliate with nature. What this translates into within the confines of our work environments is implementing an array of natural features, quite literally livening up our historically sterile working spaces. When you think of an office and what its function is, at a bare minimum you may begin to picture some desks, computers, and the people that fill the space to get the work done. The concept of biophilic design brings the people to the forefront of this office image – and hones in on one of our most primitive necessities – the natural world.
From living walls to plants of all shapes and sizes, varying types of light, and thoughtful placement of all associated elements, biophilic design can significantly enhance any space.
Environmental Impact On Productivity
When architects and designers go biophilic, they’ll oftentimes look to what the desired outcome is. Some spaces may be designed with features aimed at reducing stress, while other areas are designed with cognitive function in mind. Of course there outcomes beyond these, and you can’t go wrong with a mixture of all of them, but by selecting design elements based on the what the function of the space and people within will be, these naturalistic features can heighten the health and well-being of those occupying each area. Access to natural light, with views of landscapes or varied vegetation have been shown to not only reduce overall stress, but also reduce fatigue and increase productivity in employees. Mental restoration is a side effect of biophilia, and this feeling of well-being can elevate peoples’ moods, leading to improved health and reduction in absenteeism. Plants enhance air quality, proper lighting improves energy levels and mental performance, and something as simple as being surrounded with material that emulates the natural world gives a positive boost in our mood.
What’s Next For Your Work Space?
Pause and take a minute to observe your surrounding environment. Do you and/or your peers have abundant access to natural or circadian light? How many plants can you find within your office (if any at all)? Do the colors of the furniture or paintings around you create a vibrant atmosphere?
Ask yourself how you feel throughout your work day. Have you found yourself suffering from frequent headaches or migraines? Do you feel fatigued half way through the day? And do you feel a bit more tense as the day gets later?
Biophilic design can help alleviate the negative effects a sterile work environment has on us as human beings. And it all comes down to the idea of biophilia. Get in touch with us to explore what you can do to add more life to your space.
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