Don't just put a plant on it!

Learn more on the art of Biophilic Design strategies to impact your space

WTF is Biophilic Design really?

What if your living space had the same mental and physical benefits as walking through a forest or along a beach? Sounds dreamy, right? Well, that's the goal of biophilic design.

Here’s a jaw-dropping fact for you. Current research shows that the modern individual spends an average of 80-90% of their time indoors! Between homes, offices, stores, schools, vehicles, etc. Clearly, we’ve gotten ourselves into quite a predicament.

Too Much Time Indoors?

Here’s why this is a problem

Over millions of years, you as a human being have evolved from nature. Hence, you are hard-wired to relate to your environment as if it actually is nature. As the modern world evolves, you are ever more diverted away from nature, without even realizing it. For this reason, you're ever more present in man-made constructions.

As a result, this situation can deplete your mental and physical well-being. A LACK OF NATURE in your space has super undesirable effects. I’m sure you can even feel these. Just thinking about sitting at your cubical, week after week, year after year… Yuck.

To help you understand its value, I’ll explain what biophilic design is and how it works in a nutshell. Also, I’ll clue you up on the scientifically proven benefits.

Last but not least, I’ll give you a simple guide on how to apply it to your space with ease.


why biophilia is the solution

Start with the foundation

In Latin, BIO means life or nature and PHILIA translates to love or affinity. So, BIOPHILIA is our conscious and subconscious affinity to nature, as shaped over eons of evolution.

When you apply biophilic design principles to interiors, you need to use a COMBINATION of strategies that mimic or express natural elements. As follows, these trigger your minds and bodies to respond positively.

Sure, you can put a lovely Ficus on your desk and feel better. Regardless, you still need an additional 3-4 varying natural elements to activate your nervous system and subconscious into believing that it’s in a thriving natural environment.

Build up your elements

Don’t stress, research has uncovered many clever strategies that undeniably show just how dramatic the benefits of incorporating biophilia into your space are.

Besides live foliage, other elements to include are smells, textures, materials, light, sounds, views, airflow, shapes, patterns, colors, water. Including even the passing of time and the bioregion of a place.

That said, it’s essential to choose the right combination that works best for you, your space, and your budget.


Consider your home office

You can start with something as simple as a window view of trees and a plant in the corner. Except, to achieve the full impact, you need to make sure your desk is not facing away from the view.

Your next step is to create a cluster of three different plants, instead of just one. This way, biodiversity and pattern variability come into play to produce those phenomenal feel-good eff ects.

Some innovative strategies

Natural Material: a wooden desk with the wood grain showing to please the eye.

Scent: a natural candle or essential oil diffuser to engage your sense of smell.

Texture: an organic fiber or fur rug with a pleasant texture.

Color: all or one accent wall with hues that mimic an element of nature you prefer, like stones, sky, trees, or sand.

Airflow: open a window to let the airflow through enough to feel it.

Sound: a water fountain, natural bird-life outside, or a sound machine.

View: frame a large format image of a natural environment you prefer, if your view isn’t pleasant.

Select your favorite strategies to pair with your plants and your view. Just keep in mind that you need a total of five natural elements for the full impact. Then, let the magic of biophilia improve how your space feels!


Biophilic design benefits you

Seeing you now know some simple strategies, let me shed a little light on the proven benefits.

With this in mind, it's important to know that researchers gather data on biophilia via site-specific case studies in built spaces e.g. workspaces, hospitals, schools, etc. that are associated with activities in those spaces.

Across the board, this data verifies the positive implications of adding natural elements indoors.

Sure, you can put a lovely Ficus on your desk and feel better. Regardless, you still need an additional 3-4 varying natural elements to activate your nervous system and subconscious into believing that it’s in a thriving natural environment.

The benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • Lowered anxiety and tension
  • Regulated heart rate
  • Reduced mental fatigue
  • Increased creativity
  • Increased productivity
  • Faster recovery from health issues
  • Elevated mood
  • Reduced need for pain medication

The proof is in the data, which shows that you can apply biophilia to any space and experience incredible advantages.

Lastly, let’s get started!

If I’ve done my job right, you should now know enough about biophilic design strategies and their benefits to get excited about ways you can integrate more natural elements into your space!

For more insight into how the spaces we create are, in effect, creating us - visit my “Learn” page. Follow my blog for fresh, inspiring strategies, or get in touch with me to find out more about my personalized consultation services.

Feel free to share your ideas on where YOU want to start below!

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