There’s nothing better than the feeling of being outside in nature, absorbing the fresh air around you. From the beach to the mountains, to the neighborhood park, being outdoors surrounded by light and nature is soothing and inspiring.
But when you are at the office how will you manage to associate yourself to nature? How will you stay connected to the world outside, beneath artificial lighting, gazing at computer screens for hours? The concept of biophilic design or nature-inspired design has become a popular element in the modern Workplace design ad many companies look for ways to engage, motivate and retain their best resources and their employees.
It is important to understand the concept of biophilia before getting into biophilic design. According to a theory of the Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson,
“Biophilia is an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world”.
This concept was popularized by him in his book called Biophilia published in 1984.
Biophilic design hence seeks to connect our innate need for nature, with our modern lifestyle; which sees us investing an increasingly huge amount of time indoors, at work, and at home. By immersing a combination of nature, natural patterns, and nature-inspired design elements, the biophilic concept to workplace design aims to create a Workplace where employees can feel relaxed, engaged, and connected to the environment around them. Since employees spend most of their time inside the office, the significance of creating a balance between the inside and out is crucial for the requirements of the modern workplace.
Bringing the nature inside.
One of the first things that come to our mind when thinking of biophilic design is plants in the office, right? It is just one aspect of biophilic design, while there are numerous other sources of biophilic elements which can be implemented in the modern workplace: natural lighting, water, and airflow– all play a part. Biophilic design is a multi-sensory experience, seeing nature, feeling nature, hearing it, and smelling it, all factors into the choice of materials used in the workplace design. Wooden desks, textured surfaces, water features, and windows that open up allowing fresh air in, are all office design elements that engage the senses and offers various benefits to the employees.
Shapes, patterns, and textures found in nature should also be considered in a holistic approach to biophilic design. This consist of Fibonacci series and other biomorphism shapes naturally occurring in the environment around us. There are numerous ways to embrace this in your workplace design from chair texture and shapes, to carpet designs, to wall and ceiling installations. Integrating natural materials, such as plants or wood, to showcase the unique attributes of your environment is another way to include biophilic design in your Workplace.
Human Nature’s Influence
The final attribute affecting a biophilic design is basic human instinct. Incorporating open floor plans and glass partitions will help employees feel safe. Creating walls where employees can quietly focus on their work without intrusion, but still take in the world around them, help them feel protected.
Biophilic Design on a Budget
While it’s not always within budget for a complete workplace transformation project, it can still be possible to include some elements of biophilic design in your existing Workplace.
If you have plenty of window space, choose furniture and partitions that do not obstruct this resource, so everyone in the workplace can benefit from the natural light.
Include a mix of office-friendly plants that requires low maintenance such as cactus, Aloe, Spider plants or pothos plants which bring greenery and fresh air into the workplace.
Does your office include biophilic design elements? Are you planning to update your office using biophilic design approach? Then consider our workplace design services to create innovative Workplace.