Inviting nature in...

As the first signs of Spring are definitely popping up around us, I just wanted to share a few thoughts about biophilic design… You might not have heard much about his before, but it is basically referring to our innate attraction to the natural world and its multiple processes.

Biophilic design is growing in popularity as we are all becoming more and more concerned about our health and wellness. To cut a long story short (and trust me, you could have me discussing the concept for hours on end!!) we initially lived surrounded by nature. We progressively evolved from taking refuge in caves to moving away from nature and its many delights and indulge in comfortable spaces to live and work, with heating, air conditioning and state of the art technology.

However, many of us feel the urge to escape to the park, the coast, the Moors (if you are lucky enough to live in the south west of the UK!) or any other calm heaven when we have a bit of free time, for a holiday, not just for fresh air and exercise, but also when we feel down and troubled… And do you know why? Well, because nature has this amazing power of bringing relief, calm and tranquility into our over busy lives, right?

And here it is! This is what biophilic design is all about! And as interior designers, this is at the heart of the work we do. By focusing on how we can better enjoy natural light, colours which refer us to the natural world, natural materials, plants (many of which can help purify indoor air), natural shapes and forms, we can improve the spaces we live and work in drastically. Biophilic design is a revolutionary design trend which is about the human connection between nature and the built environment. It is about designing with and for people well being in mind. It is about repeated and sustained engagement with nature, it is about a particular attachment to specific spaces, it is about carefully designed social and private spaces, all of which, combined together, will have a huge impact on the way we function, work, think, learn, create and even heal.

Many studies have been conducted around the world in offices and healthcare settings among others and statistics prove that patients in hospitals will heal quicker if their room overlooks a natural scene rather than those who are just faced with a concrete wall. In schools, learning and concentration are enhanced by elements of biophilic design all around. Indeed, children will progress through the curriculum faster when learning in natural light environments and while productivity increases in office buildings, absenteeism reduces as well. Hotel guests are prepared to pay more for a room with a view of nature…

So why just wait for the week-end or your next holiday to make the most of nature? Time to rethink our abodes and let nature in!