The Rise of Biophilic Design – Bringing Nature Indoors in Your Living Room

Biophilic design brings a refreshing aesthetic while supporting occupant health in offices, schools and residential spaces alike. Expect to see greater emphasis placed on including natural elements to improve air quality, revitalize people and build connections among inhabitants of these spaces this year.

Maximizing natural lighting, using materials inspired by nature and adding indoor plants are three simple ways to bring biophilic design into any space. Other ways include organic color palettes, curved shapes and forms and natural patterns – these all contribute to creating biophilic design aesthetics in any setting.

Natural Materials

Biophilic design features are becoming more and more prevalent across residential communities, from wooded landscapes in suburbia to balconies and stoops of high-rise apartments; all serve to facilitate people’s desire for connection with nature.

Biophilic designs often aim to provide micro-restorative experiences that improve users’ health and comfort, though their effectiveness depends on diurnal and seasonal cycles in any given space.

Intelligent applications of biophilic design can create a multi-pronged strategy to address common building performance challenges while mainstreaming healthy buildings for people and society. From preventing sick building syndrome and improving acoustic ambiance to reducing thermal loads and increasing daylighting, biophilic interventions may contribute measurable health-related outcomes.

Natural Light

New research into biophilia has demonstrated measurable, positive impacts on health and productivity, furthering its popularity within architecture and green building practices, while raising its priority level among designers, builders and clients alike.

Urban environments often limit our access to nature; however, biophilic design strategies such as dynamic glazing, local timber use and xeriscaping can bring nature indoors while connecting occupants to their natural surroundings.

Discovering opportunities for biophilic design within your project requires understanding the health baseline and performance goals, in order to properly select design patterns which meet occupants’ needs in the most beneficial ways – creating lasting effects both physically and psychologically.

Nature-Inspired Color Schemes

Biophilic patterns take their inspiration from nature, particularly patterns which emphasize visual and non-visual connections with nature. But landscape and human biological responses change over time; accordingly, design pattern effectiveness may fluctuate with seasonal and diurnal changes to nature experience and user groups such as back-of-house employees or night shift residents.

Replicating biophilic designs in everyday spaces may be challenging. As a property manager or multifamily owner, however, you can focus on designing spaces to promote mental and physical health along with sustainability in order to attract younger tenants as renters; this will also build brand loyalty while decreasing tenant complaints.

Indoor Plants

Indoor plants add a soothing splash of green to any living room, such as palms, ferns, succulents or begonias. While most varieties thrive under various lighting and moisture conditions, it is important to remember each variety’s ideal living environment before making a purchase decision – some varieties won’t fare well when exposed to too much or too little light.

Biophilic design patterns can be implemented at the scale of a single room, building, or entire community; however, their efficacy often increases when implemented alongside other high-performance strategies. For instance, adding water walls into entryways creates both thermal and acoustic control while contributing to the regeneration qualities of space; similarly placing micro-restorative experiences along paths with heavy traffic could increase frequency of exposure for an amplified restoration response response.

Living Walls and Vertical Gardens

Living walls and vertical gardens provide one solution to incorporate biophilic design in the built environment when landscapes or buildings cannot accommodate all natural forms. These self-sustaining systems use hydroponic technology to maintain plants within them, collecting rainwater for storage purposes before using hydroponic technology to sustain them.

When developing biophilic strategies for projects, it’s useful to understand the priorities of users of the space and their health related priorities. This can help shape, prioritize and focus the design process and help guide selection of specific design patterns.

Implementing multiple biophilic strategies can increase the odds of positive health outcomes; however, it’s important to remember that human reactions differ depending on duration and frequency of exposure to nature.

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