The term 'biophilia', which inspired 'biophilic design', was created by psychologist Erich Fromm in the 1960s to explain our natural need to interact with nature. Interacting with nature can improve our well-being; in fact, this theory states that people have an innate need to connect with nature and living species. As biophilic office design aims to improve our wellbeing by strengthening our connection to nature, it is becoming increasingly popular among workplace designers in the post-COVID era.
Most people think of potted plants when they think of biophilic office design. Plants are an important aspect of the workplace design, but that is just the start. It's about incorporating nature in all of its forms into urban architecture, including patterns, materials, shapes, places, scents, views, and sounds. We've put together a list of seven new trends that go beyond standard indoor plants and will help you integrate natural components into the office in a way that resembles outside settings.
Natural Light and Views
Employee well-being, productivity, and energy levels are all influenced by natural light and views of the outdoors. Employees may enjoy peaceful sceneries thanks to strategically positioned windows. Balconies and glass fascia can serve to increase physical and visual access to the outdoors. Natural light may be aided by the strategic placement of workstations and other office equipment, as well as windows, and glass doors. Use daylight bulbs that mimic natural light when natural light isn't accessible.
Hanging plants and skylights, as well as striking ceiling decorations, are all gaining popularity. Exposed timber ceiling are becoming more trendy, and they offer biophilic features. They're also ideal for hanging baskets, enabling plants with long leaves to dangle freely. Another option to explore is skylights, which enable more natural light to flow in even in small places.
Natural Shapes and Patterns
Allowing for some asymmetry and softer forms can also be used to emulate nature. This necessitates the use of curved rather than straight lines. Incorporating organic forms and patterns into any office design may give aesthetic relaxation. Natural materials have textures and patterns that may be recreated in upholstery designs, cushions, art, and wall panels.
Biophilic design relies heavily on natural, sustainably derived materials. For a more natural and genuine aesthetic, many office designers are turning to repurposed wood and stone. Rugs, textiles, and furniture that are inspired by nature and created mostly of natural fibres and reused materials are symbiotic with biophilic design. Natural materials also endure longer and pose fewer problems than many man-made materials, especially when toxic emissions and allergic responses are taken into account.
Sounds and Smells
Natural noises accelerate the physical and psychological repair process, in addition to adding to a relaxing and healthy atmosphere. To improve attention and generate a sense of peace, we may imitate this in workplace surroundings by substituting with sounds from nature. Smell has a role in biophilic design as well. Various natural scents are claimed to increase productivity and reduce stress.
Colors of Nature
It's no secret that color has an impact on our mood and work performance. Aside from the apparent green colors, color schemes inspired by nature, such as blues, yellows, oranges, and brown tones, play an important role. Green can increase our inventiveness, while warm yellows or reds might improve our attention span, according to research. Even paintings of natural landscapes have a greater soothing impact than abstract prints or cityscapes.
People are comforted by the sight, sound, and touch of water, which has been demonstrated to improve mood and self-esteem. Flowing water installations like as fountains, water walls, and built streams may stimulate the senses in large workplaces. The gentle sounds of water can serve to mask workplace noise and create a feeling of tranquilly to meetings and brainstorming sessions in an office setting.