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Biophilic Design: Building an Office Space with a Second Nature

Biophilic design is a powerful tool for improving the overall wellbeing of employees and their work environment.

Humans have an inborn desire to connect with nature. This is biophilia. Biophilic experiences reduce stress and improve cognitive function.

All these benefits can be made’second nature’ in an office space by incorporating biophilic design.

What is Biophilic Design?

Biophilic Design combines architecture with nature and uses natural design elements to consider the function of buildings and communities.

Biophilic design is only possible if there is a conscious connection between our physical and mental well-being, and the natural world around.

Principles of Biophilic Design

Biophilic design principles are grounded in nature. The style was referred to by early adopters as organic architecture. It incorporated imagery from nature and elements that remind one of being in nature.

Stephen Kellert, who was a pioneer in this practice, developed a set of biophilic design principles which are still being used today. These principles include direct and indirect interactions you have with the natural world.

Direct experiences can include elements like light, air, water, and other natural elements. It also includes physical elements such as plants or natural landscapes.

Indirect experiences are the use of natural materials, forms, and colors to represent earth, water and sky. It also includes images of nature and natural geometries.

Biophilic Design has many benefits

Numerous scientific studies show that closeness to nature is good for your health. Outside can boost your mood and provide a sense of well-being.

Biophilic design has many benefits in the workplace, including increased focus, immunity and stress reduction. People are happier when they have access to natural elements. They are more sociable, better at problem solving, and/or creatively think.

Happy employees are more productive and spend less time away from work when they feel supported in a holistic way. People who are happy at work are more likely to be able to focus their energy on new ideas or complex tasks.

Biophilic Design Example

To create productive work environments and social spaces, successful companies are taking advantage exterior space that isn’t being used. You can transform your lawn space and patios into an outdoor setting where employees can relax, work, or play.

Biophilic design is reflected in large windows that allow for natural light to flood the interior. Employees can connect to nature from their office spaces, which offer views of trees, water, and other greenery.

Amazon’s The Spheres, which houses over 40,000 plants from cloud forests in more than 30 countries, is an example of biophilic design. This innovative workspace is intended to encourage new thinking and creativity.

Another example of biophilic design is , which can be seen on Facebook’s nine-acre rooftop garden. The building was too small for employees to connect with nature so they decided to look up. The outdoor space was created to foster a sense community and connection among Facebook employees, which are important components of what the company is all about.

Etsy’s headquarters is another example of biophilic design. It features commercial furniture made from materials that are better for the environment, employees and planet. Solar panels provide natural energy as well as a space to relax for employees.

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