Have you ever noticed just how much time you spend indoors? The average person spends 80-90% of their life inside. When indoors, you’re creating a disconnect from nature. The thing is, there are so many benefits, we as humans get, from being exposed to nature and from being outside. But in today’s world everyone is busy. Everyone is inside their homes or they are inside at work. One way architects and interior designers are trying to bring natural elements into interior spaces is through biophilic design. Finding ways to connect people to nature within interiors is more important than ever regardless of how obvious or subtle it is implemented.
Biophilia is a ‘love of life or living systems.’ It is our inherent human connection to the natural world. This connection to nature is critical to humans physical and mental health along with their wellbeing. Biophilic interiors harness this affinity in order to create natural environments for people to live, work and learn within. It is proven that designs that connect people to nature inspire, boost productivity, contribute to a stronger sense of well-being and spark creativity.
In Terrapin Bright Green’s ‘14 Patterns of Biophilic Design,’ science and psychology is used to help define biophilic design. By doing so, we can understand how to apply each point when considering human needs within design. The patterns can be broken down into three main categories. These are, Nature in Space, Natural Analogs and Patterns, and Nature of the Space.
Nature in Space
This first group has to do with direct sensorial contact with nature in a space. This could be a stimulating view of nature, natural air-flow or sounds and scents. The seven patterns that fall into this category are visual connection with nature, non-visual connection with nature, non-rhythmic sensory stimuli, thermal and airflow variability, presence of water, dynamic and diffuse light, and connection with natural systems. When you design using these patterns you will create meaningful connections with natural elements.
Natural Analogs & Patterns
This second group is about using elements with an indirect connection to nature. These connections create a cue to the brain that sparks the same sense of well-being as the natural world. It is all about mimicking the details of nature. Three patterns make up this category and include, biomorphic forms and patterns, material connection with nature, and complexity and order.
Nature of the Space
The last group is about how we as users relate to the building, room or space around us on deeper levels. The remaining patterns that fall into this group are, prospect, refuge, mystery and risk/peril. When you combine these with the other two groups you will get maximum biophilic design results. These results will really enhance the users experience.
If you want to create a biophilic interior try some of these tips. An easy way to start is by adding some plants or greenery to your design. Another thing you could try is to incorporate natural materials. Natural stone and wood can bring so much character and uniqueness to a design. These materials will help provided those biophilic benefits. Patterns, textures and shapes provide you with quite the variety of things to choose from to help bring in different elements. We used this element recently to create a new chair. The chair featured a beautiful floral pattern that by just looking at brings you joy. One last tip is to let that natural light in. Windows allow you to see views of nature while you are inside. Also letting natural light in helps boost your well-being.