Green design trend: Biophilia is in vogue

JW Marriott Gold Coast Resort and Spa newly renovated lobby featuring stylised floor and desk plants.

The term “Biophilia” is starting to have an increasing influence on interior design and architecture.

In essence, biophilia means a love of life or living things. We have a deeply ingrained attraction to nature, and biological need for contact with the natural world.

Biophilia in action: One of many living green walls at Emporium Hotel, South Bank. Photo: Advance Plants

Now, if you stop and think about a place where you feel calm and relaxed, what is it that you imagine? Do you see beautiful colours? Trees perhaps? Something natural and beautiful?

This is what biophilia is: an appreciation for that sometimes indescribable feeling nature gives us.

Constantly seeking nature

While the term biophilia is a relatively new one (circa 1984, by Edward O Wilson), the concept is dates back to ancient times. Humans have always felt an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life.

This is because the appearance of the natural world is far more diverse than the one we are generally surrounded by. Therefore, we feel the need to add different shapes, colours and life to our daily routines.

The use of plants and other living decor is something that we, as humans, need to help reduce our stress. As well as enhance our creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and expedite our healing.

As we grow older and our responsibilities increase and our stress begins to grow, these qualities are ever more important.

Biophilia in action: Common area and restaurant at the Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast. Photo: Advance Plants

Biophilia in design: Biophilic design

Yet not all of us are aware of our subconscious desire for more natural surroundings.

Since our natural habitat is largely a man-made, many of us seek biophilic design in modern buildings and cities. A green wall in the middle of a shopping centre, plants on every desk in the office or even our garden at home make us feel like we’re surrounded by nature.

Biophilic design is about focusing on those aspects of the natural world that have contributed to human health and productivity. So creating a biophilic space may be as simple as embracing natural light, colour and providing your staff with choices.

Biophilic design elements in your workspace

A biophilic office design will not only add to the aesthetics of your workspace but also promote wellbeing, boost staff engagement, produce Vitamin D and increase the positivity of the office.

Biophilia in action: Staff kitchen at Deloitte Brisbane. Photo: Advance Plants

From green walls to colourful pot plants and exotic looking landscapes, there are endless ways to integrate biophilia into your workspace. It all comes down to the feeling you want to evoke in your workspace and employees. If you’re a little unsure how to achieve the biophilic environment you’re wanting, that’s where we come in.

Our interior landscape designers will come to your workplace and work with you to come up with the most suitable biophilic design for your space. Just tell us what you want and we’ll make it happen!

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