Have you heard of biophilic design? You might be curious about the benefits of this concept and whether it could help you in your business. In this article, we’re going to discuss everything you need to know including key examples and how to add these ideas to your office.
The biophilic design may be referred to as the ‘love of life of living systems.’ It is a concept that describes how humans are able to interact and connect to the natural world that exists around them. Many researchers have suggested that since the industrial revolution this key and important connection has gradually faded away over time. With biophilic design, this connection can be reestablished and the benefits can be unlocked.
It is perhaps worth noting that the original term dates back to the early ’60s. Indeed, it was during this time that Erich Fromm delved into what ‘biophilia’ meant and how it could be used to benefit individuals in their work life. It wasn’t until 1972 that the key benefits and advantages of this type of design would be fully explored.
On the most basic level, biophilic design for offices is all about bringing the outside in. It’s about making sure that there are green displays and that natural materials make part of the office design. In some cases, this can be aesthetic concepts and in others, it can be an actual growing display.
Key Examples Of Biophilic Design
There are numerous fantastic examples of biophilic design that exist within the world today. It is possible to use these examples as inspirations of how to introduce this concept into a modern office. For instance, there is the Ljubljana Chamber of Commerce and Industry. This provides panoramic views of the city with an indoor garden that offers a vast level of natural light. Furthermore, the plant leaves ensure that there isn’t too much natural sunlight. As well as this a ribbon of planters is used to frame the interior space beautifully. This particular space is used for numerous functions from meetings to brainstorming with employees. It is said to be one of the favorite locations for employees who work in the building.
McCann Erickson’s Office in New York is another stunning example. This is an important property because it highlights that biophilic design does not have to cost a fortune. It can fit into virtually any business budget with some innovative and creative thinking. With this office, desks were positioned by the windows to take advantage of the natural light. It also ensured that the max number of employees were able to gain clear views of the outside world. Furthermore, natural materials were used to decorate the office with plants around the walls. Natural textures such as wooden desks and glass lighting were also utilized to resemble nature within the office itself. A ‘living wall’ was also added in the hope of greatly improving air quality within the building.
Why Biophilic Design Helps The Workplace
There are numerous reasons why it’s important that biophilic besign is used as part of the workplace. It’s important to keep in mind that typically we will spend 90% of our lives in buildings and completely detached from nature. One study has shown that if we are just around plants for less than a minute it can have a significant impact on levels of stress. That’s important because research has shown constantly that stressed workers are far less likely to be able to remain productive. It can also cause significant physical or mental health issues and this again is going to impact the wellbeing of the workers. It will also cause problems in terms of efficiency.
Other studies have suggested that the impact on productivity levels can be remarkable. Indeed, it’s possible that the right biophilic design will bring an 8% jump in productivity levels. Some design options may even be used to improve the air quality within a building and help remove harmful substances. Again, this is going to make the work environment far more beneficial for workers. They are going to understand that you are taking the initiative to improve their wellbeing.
Studies also suggest that Biophilic design will lead to a reduced level of absenteeism and presenteeism. Other research has found that guests are willing to pay more for accommodation with biophilic design. This could mean that you are more likely to win over clients you bring to your office with this type of set up.
How Is Biophilic Design Implemented
It’s important to note that biophilic design is not as difficult to achieve as most designers and business owners will often assume. The first step is to think about the type of benefits that you want to achieve. For some people, it will be about improving the air quality in space. For others, it will be important to improve employee happiness levels. Used correctly, the biophilic design will be able to provide the answers for countless goals like this.
No two spaces or the same and the biophilic design that you implement must match the possibilities of your office. It is crucial that you are aware of how your employees interact with the office environment and this will reveal key areas where biophilic design concepts can be implemented.
Adding natural materials as the basis of the design is a great starting point. This can be accomplished through rustic office furniture as well as accessories that can be used to bring life to the walls. Natural lighting can be increased by opening up spaces and ensuring that natural light is more likely to reach more areas of the office. You also need to consider the aesthetics of the environment. It’s worth exploring what features you can add that will remind employees or office workers of the natural world and fuel their connection with nature. Living art pieces are a great choice here and will add a unique aesthetic to your building.
We hope this helps you understand the key benefits biophilic design can bring to your office and how to implement it the right way.