Biophilic design beyond the buzzword
2022 03 14
With so much being written about the positive effect of biophilic interiors, we caught up with three brands to see how they have incorporated biophilic design into their products…
The term biophilia was first coined by German-born American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in the early 70s, to describe ‘the passionate love of life and of all that is alive’. Moving on to the early 80s, American biologist Edward O Wilson suggested that human relationship with nature and other life-forms was in part genetic. Whilst science has yet to identify a biophilic gene, we all appreciate our innate desire to connect with nature and the feeling of wellness that brings, which is why biophilia as a design tool is resonating so strongly across the board.
There are many ways beyond a pot plant to approach introducing biophilia into a design, from pattern to colour, materials to texture. It is a broad palette which presents designers with a range of options to introduce these notes of wellbeing into a product or design process. We spoke to three designers from different disciplines to explore a little beyond the surface of biophilic design.
Table Place Chairs is a true advocate of how furniture can provide a fantastic way to incorporate nature into your space. Wood is renowned for its acoustic properties, and it’s good to know that all the oak and beech products supplied by Table Place Chairs is FSC certified. Available in different natural stains without losing the detail of the natural grain, their ability to customise allows products to fit into all styles of biophilic design, everything from a light natural space to a darker toned interior.
Studies have shown that visual connections to nature in the workspace can improve employee’s cognitive functions. Table Place Chairs have many clever solutions to enhance this visual connection through furniture. Whether it is using natural wood finishes or grain enhancement on an oak framed chair or customising their Clover seating collection by adding elements such as rattan. As well as promoting FSC, Table Place Chairs use recycled timber as a sustainable alternative for table-tops.
Good biophilic design should encapsulate all elements of nature to create enduring, liveable spaces. So it’s refreshing to see architecture and interior design moving away from concrete jungles and heavy steel structures to incorporating more natural elements, from vibrant oasis walls to freshwater aquariums and air filtration systems. Textiles and soft furnishings play an important role in tying biophilic design schemes together through the use of natural colours, organic, dry textures and designs inspired by flora, fauna, and botanicals.
ILIV have recently launches two collections inspired by biophilic design which have taken varying approaches, from hand painted watercolour wild grasses to architectural geometrics and show-stopping tropical florals. Influenced by warmer climates, the Exotic Garden collection comprises six coordinating design from tropical origins. The collection ties in elements of the outdoors from leaf details to intricate exotic plants helping create a beautifully balanced space.
Inspired by serenity, the Serene collection has been designed to bring calmness and tranquillity to interior design, a strong trend which has swept the nation during the global pandemic. Feeling relaxed and at ease in our homes is something that many of us have strived for over the past few months and bringing that same tranquillity into the contract environment is key.
A recent study by Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health Sir Cary Cooper entitled ‘Biophilic Design in the Workplace’ surveyed 3,600 office workers across Europe and the Middle-East. The results showed how internal green space, natural light and foliage boost the mood, productivity and job satisfaction of employees while also reducing stress.
Wallcoverings are great way to combine colour and print to mimic the natural world – from the organic colours and textures of stone, wood, and botanicals, to print and patterns inspired by landscapes, fauna and flora. Using biophilic inspired designs for the spaces we live, work, and relax in can increase feelings of wellbeing, happiness, and serenity. It has also been shown to improve concentration, creativity, and productivity, and reduce stress and anxiety.
Newmor Wallcoverings provide interior designers with an ultimate choice of biophilic inspired patterns. From Leaves, a large scale skeletal leaf design to their wonderfully witty Banshee cacti pattern by The Patternistas, and the pure drama of Blooming Marvellous, a collection of large scale palms and florals. All designs can be printed onto vinyl wallcovering or window film, creating even more opportunities to incorporate biophilia in interiors today.
Table Place Chairs, ILIV, and Newmor Wallcoverings are all Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.
Main image credit: ILIV