Biophilia is the name bestowed to the inherent connection between man and nature. It has been well documented that when human beings have access to their natural environments, including natural light, spaciousness and greenery, they flourish in every respect – including physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally. Human beings interact with their environments and it is this interaction that has become so important.
Biophilic design operates in much the same manner as feng shui, focusing on the manner in which our physical environment influences our internal well-being. The majority of us now live in built up urban areas. In the UK alone in 2010, a staggering 90% of us resided in an urban area. The impact of human beings being crowded into urban locations has been widely documented; it exacerbates stress, depression, aggression and anxiety. This pattern is mirrored all over the world. As we become more highly populated and better developed, we shun rural natural expanses and turn to the city, perhaps for work purposes or to be greater connected to schools, hospitals and transportation links. Urban living has become king in today’s society.
People are beginning to realise, due to the advent of environmental consciousness, just how important it is that we interact positively with our environments. Such notions no longer seem like the outpourings of hippies from a bygone era, but instead an essential way to conduct our lives for our own health. Biophilic furniture and environments are those which prioritise natural preferences; they make use of space and light, they utilise colour (did you know the most commonly used colours for decoration are bland white and uninspiring grey?), quiet areas, live plants and views of nature, particularly of the sea.
The restorative impact of nature has been known to bolster happiness, creativity and productivity further fortifying success and motivational levels. Is it really such a surprise that what we surround ourselves with directly impacts on our mood? If it’s true that who we surround ourselves with influences us, then it makes sense that our environments play a large role in doing so also. Biophilic design has already been taken into consideration for workplaces where it was previously considered to be a “workplace luxury” rather than as an essential economic investment into the health, happiness and wellbeing of homeowners.
We can transform our homes into more homely, welcoming, hospitable locations where we actually enjoy spending our time, reinforcing a stronger connection with the natural world which we so often severely lack. The drive toward biophilic environments, design and furniture prioritises natural, sustainable materials, light, bright, rejuvenating colour schemes and optimisation of space to create an inspiring and calming room. Biophilic design is really about returning to our roots and bringing nature back into our homes.
Image credit: http://www.mochacasa.com/blog/10-reasons-plants-in-home/