Connecting nature, wellbeing and design

Why Every Sustainable Workplace & Home Should Include Biophilic Design

We all have days when we wake up on a workday and bright beams of sunlight warm our faces. You hear birds chirping, see flowers blooming around you, and feel a gentle breeze on your skin while you’re on your way to work. All you want to do is keep feeling calm and connected while spending the day outside. But due to a never ending list of to do’s at work this is not possible.

No matter where we live, we have a need to get in touch with nature. This is why architects are now incorporating biophilic design into the spaces they design.
Award-winning architect Amanda Sturgeon said in her TEDMED talk that this concept literally translates to ‘love of life’. Or to put it in professional terms: the biophilia hypothesis is the idea that humans have an inherited need to connect to nature due to our desire for personal fulfilment.”

Biophilic rooms and buildings are usually decorated with plants, leave lots of space for light to flow through the windows, and the floors and walls mimic the forms and textures of nature.

Fabián Sanin, a community landscape manager at Amazon focuses on connecting employees at the company with nature. He creates spaces that allow employees to experience more health and wellbeing, reduce their stress and improve creativity.

Fabian says: “Biophilic Design in my viewpoint is the opportunity to elevate our instinctual nature to be connected to living entities and non-living representations of the natural world in a built environment. Connecting to nature is infused in our DNA as humans and our acceptance to this concept will allow all to utilize its potential to improving our lives on a daily basis.”

When we follow biophilic design principles we create spaces and cities that are more environmentally friendly and allow people to experience the calming effects of nature, during their otherwise stressful, daily lives.

What could this look like in your home? Here are some incredible examples of biophilic design and how you can easily adapt it to your own

Biophilic Design at the Amazon offices in Seattle - photos provided by Amazon
Picture: Hutomo Abrianto

Bring plants into the space:

Add plants to your home. This doesn’t always have to be an entire plant wall like at the Amazon office. It could simply mean buying several pot plants and positioning them around the house.

Spaces with a direct view of nature:

A shower with a direct view of the sky? Yes please! Another important aspect of biophilic design, is to have lots of exposure to natural light in rooms. Big windows facing the sky, or trees, can be a great start for this.

Buy furniture from sustainable and natural materials like wood and bamboo:

Adding elements of nature and furniture that mimic the texture of nature can also have a calming effect.

Give biophilic design a try in your own space to help you feel more connected and peaceful in your everyday life.