The very concept of biophilia refers to the love of life and all living natural systems. This unusual characteristic connecting with nature is an inseparable feature of humanity. Each of us experiences an inner deep connection with the surrounding nature. We can easily find out about it while walking in the forest or relaxing during summer holidays among picturesque landscapes. Unfortunately, we live in an increasingly more technical world. The progress of civilisation and the constant modernisation of cities have their price - sometimes we break this important primary bond along the way.
Why do we need biophlic design?
In order to rescue the primary connection with nature, trends are born in order to restore the lost balance. Biophilic design is one of them. The new direction in design is based on the innovative use of the potential dormant in biophilia. What does that mean? To put it simply, interior architects try to create a space that refers to the realities of nature. They let nature in, thus recreating the natural conditions for work, study and everyday life.
Biophilic design strives for sustainable development. It aims to create a space in which a person feels safe, calm and comfortable. As research shows, the introduction of nature to office and residential interiors brings great benefits to health and well-being. Over half a hundred reports have been created on this subject, including extremely optimistic discoveries in the field of psychology made by prof. Sir Cary Cooper.
Benefits of biophilia
We already know that a man separated from nature is in an unnatural position. Prolonged staying in an artificial environment deprived of nature can cause unpleasant results. And so: spending each day in a modern, artificially lit office, in which there is neither a gram of greenery or wood, and which has nothing to do with the environment of our ancestors, can have a negative impact on our health, well-being, and the efficiency of our work. This translates into not only worse performance or weaker results, but also frequent sick leaves, and as a result generates unnecessary costs for the company. In the USA, the annual absence of a statistical employee costs the employer more than 2,000 dollars!
As it turns out, there are simple methods to improve employee productivity without sending them to dubious quality motivational training. To notice a huge difference, it is enough to redesign the office space smartly. Even simple tricks can completely change the character of a given interior. When we let nature into the office and let it work miracles, the effectiveness and creativity of employees will automatically rise. It is possible that biophilic design is just the answer to the company's problems!
Biophilia in the design of office spaces
Biophilic design introduces elements of nature into the space deprived of them. Thanks to this, it creates inspiring and comfortable interiors in which a man can find the lost unity with nature. Of course, not every office can be arranged in such a way to include all the principles of the biophilic design, but it is possible to incorporate at least some elements that together will bring the desired effect.
How does it look in practice? Is it enough to put two potted flowers on the windowsill to talk about biophilia in the office space? Not exactly. The presence of plants is very important, and perhaps even the most important part of this trend but it is more multi-faceted. Elements of the biophilic design include e.g. a wood or a wood-like floor, large windows with a view of trees (letting natural light!), textures or shapes taken from the world of nature (even shelves in the shape of a honeycomb or wallpapers in the floral pattern). A few such natural inclusions will completely change the character of the room and will make the work in it much more pleasant and effective.
However, fully comfortable working conditions can only be created when the decorative elements are accompanied by live plants. After all, biophilia is love for the living. The fullness of the beneficial effects of nature on man is revealed only in direct contact with greenery.
Green walls - the most complete implementation of the biophilic trend
Instead of investing in a lot of potted plants separately, it is worth considering an installation of a vertical garden. Such action is primarily space saving - on one wall you can plant a few dozen flowers, which would otherwise block not only window sills, but also floors and desks. Secondly, green walls are not so demanding in care. An automatic irrigation and control system is a much better solution than a daily rally with a watering can across the entire office.
The presence of greenery in offices considerably affects the comfort of everyday work. This action can be seen in a lot of aspects - the fact that the space looks more aesthetic straight away is just the beginning of a longer list of advantages. Plants improve the air quality - they moisturise it, help cleanse of harmful compounds and dust, and also give fresh oxygen injection. In addition, they greatly improve the acoustics of rooms - green walls absorb noise, silence the room. If your colleague speaks extremely loudly on the phone, you will notice the difference immediately. Finally - direct contact with living plants soothes the human nerves, reduces stress, restores balance and improves mood.
Learn more in spring
Research on the impact of plants on office workers is one of the main issues of the 4Nature System - Wertykalni project. We have commissioned it to the experts from the Polish Green Building Council PLGBC and the Silesian University of Technology. We wish to thoroughly examine the impact of vegetation on parameters in the office environment. We also want to know the specific needs and preferences of office workers. The report will be released in spring. Based on these results, we will create a unique line of office furniture combined with vegetation. Thus, we hope to transfer the biophilic design to a whole new level. Be watchful!