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Biophilic Design: What is it and why do we need it?

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You may have heard the term 'Biophilic Design' floating around, but what the heck actually is it? Biophilic means 'love of nature' and it stems from our primal attraction to natural and its natural processes. Our connection to the natural world is being more and more fraught over the years through the development of buildings, artificial lighting and the urbanisation of our environments. Biophilic Design re connects us to nature and improves the spaces we live, work and play.

Humans spend 93% of their time indoors and therefore seperated from natural elements. By introducing Biophilic elements into your surroundings you can increase productivity and morale in the workplace , increase learning and attendance rates in schools and increase rates of relaxation and well-being within the home.

Biophilia is not just about adding plants, although adding plants helps! You need to think about all natural elements like plants, light, water, even air flow to truly improve your spaces. Even thinking about the materials that you choose for your flooring, furniture, bathrooms and kitchens. Below are my top tips to creating a Biophilic space.


I'm sure you know by now the importance of having natural light in your life. Always aim for as much natural light as possible. Whether that's getting out of the office and going for a walk on your lunch break, or just simply opening your blinds at home or investing in natural light lightblubs, as the saying goes, every little helps. Natural light not only helps boost mood, it also ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀.


I don't want to shock anyway but we humans need water. Way back when we were living in caves having a water source near by was critical for our survival. Now a days we take for granted the accessibility of a tap and how easy it is for us to quench our thirst when needed. However, this isn't visual. We need to see water close by to create a sense of calm deep within us because our primal selves are happier when we can see water. Now I'm not suggesting you move to the edge of a lake (as nice as that would be) I am suggesting putting a water feature in your office space or simply having a clear vase of flowers in your home. Even having images of water in your surroundings helps being a sense of calm.

Image Source: AliciaBock Via Etsy


Air Quality and air flow is such an important element of designing any space as it is a huge element of sick building syndrome. You need to consider temperature, carbon dioxide, ventilation, odours, dust and humidity. But simply keep you air clean with the use of a purifier and air purifying plants and keep it flowing either with a ventilation system or by opening your windows everyday.


We are very sensory beings and we like to be tactile. Whether we notice or not, we react more positively to the touch of timber than plastic. Do you ever get drawn to touch a wooden counter top just because? That's your natural draw the nature! When selecting the materials for your spaces, stick to natural ones such as wood and natural stone. This could be in a more raw form like the coffee table below or something more 'finished' like the frames of the chairs.

Image Source: mf+arquitetos


The answer to most interior design questions is plants, more plants! But joking aside, plants really do to wonders to transform your spaces and they bring so much benefit to those inhibiting those spaces. Better air quality, boosted mood, increased productivity and creativity, they even have a calming effect. You can start with something a small as a desk plant to receive the benefits or go all out and invest in a living wall for your balcony. Even photographs of plants and nature have been proven to have well-being benefits. See, the answer is plants!

Image Source: Biotecture

For more information about Biophilic Design or to find out about our Biophilic design services please email

Until next time...

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