May 2nd, 2019

Freshen Up – Why You Need Biophilia

There’s a new buzzword in town and it’s Biophilia. For those of you who have never heard the term before, you’re probably wondering what it is and why we’re talking about it. For some of us, it’s been a term that comes up all the time especially when we are designing spaces for clients. So what is it and why does it matter? Let us fill you in about biophilia and why you need it in your life!

It’s finally spring and every time you look out the window you catch a glimpse of something growing – something alive. As the cold slowly disappear and new life in the flora and fauna re-emerge, we cannot help but take notice. Perhaps it the color or even the gradual change, but there must be a reason as to why we are so attracted to it. Biophilia is the concept that people have an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. It might explain why people become depressed when they are isolated from the outside world. Today, we spend almost 90% of our days indoors. How do we create spaces in which people can still have a connection with nature when most of our surroundings are built?

Research shows that biophilia improves productivity, well-being, and engagement. Some of the core features of biophilia include vegetation, sightlines to open landscapes such as mountains and bodies of water, daylight, use of local and natural materials, creating shelter and privacy as well as blurring the lines between the interior environment and the outdoors. Most research shows that the addition of these features and elements in the workplace has a great impact. Some benefits include improved health, a better mood, the feeling of well-being, reduced stress levels, increased engagement, and productivity, reduce fatigue and even reduced employee absenteeism. There is a reason why standards and certifications such as WELL and LEED have emerged and are being adopted. Who knew that biophilia could make such a difference in our everyday life?

There are so many benefits to biophilia, so how can you inject some into your life? It can be as simple as opening your blinds. Let daylight fill your space and in the rooms where you spend most of your time, try to have sightlines to the outdoors. Lacking views and windows? There are many other options such as the addition of a few living plants or perhaps a green wall in an office. If you have never seen one, they are stunning and provide great visual relief! looking for some inspiration? Greenery NYC has some amazing projects to illustrate the powers of plants. From Presentation Centers, Retail spaces, and Offices to name a few applications, which are sure to impress you. Warm up a space by choosing some natural materials such as wool for upholstery and wood instead of man-made materials. And if all else fails, never underestimate the power of a nice photograph of a nature scene!


How will you freshen up with biophilia this spring? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designbiophilia