Welcome to another Hypedome first — a new series, “Spaces for Better Living” that’s designed to help you reconnect, refresh and re-energise in a whole host of different ways.
As we navigate through the series, we’ll delve into how the spaces we routinely inhabit can be transformed to enhance our overall well-being and quality of life. Today we’re going to kick the series off with a deep dive into the fascinating world of biophilic design. We’ll unravel its essence, its function, and the transformative impact it can imprint on your daily life. And oh, we might stumble upon a few garden pods along the journey, adding a whimsical touch to our exploration.
Welcome to Biophilic Design Basics
The allure of biophilic design lies in its simplicity and profound impact. It’s all about connecting with the world around you by introducing touches of nature, greenery and organic design elements. The reason for doing this is the noticeable improvement in your health and mental well-being. While this may sound like a new, slightly alternative movement to some, it’s actually been around for centuries.
The architectural prowess of the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who seamlessly blended natural elements like stone pillars into their imperial designs, is a testimony to the timeless essence of biophilic design. Fast forward to the modern era, the resonance of biophilic spaces has only amplified. It’s not just a fleeting trend on social media, but a lifestyle adopted by many to feel a profound connection with nature amidst the urban sprawl. Gardens, houseplants, and green roof spaces are not just aesthetic choices, but a homage to our intrinsic bond with nature.
What Are the Benefits of Biophilic Design?
Here are the top 6 benefits of this energising design philosophy that jump out at us:
- Mental health improves when you feel connected to nature and grounded by your environment and degrades in artificial surroundings. One of the main reasons for this is that we have never evolved to be under artificial light throughout the day. Sunlight flowing into your space is a key part of feeling better in every aspect of life. Another study published on NCBI found empirical evidence showing the value of nature experience for mental health, especially in the face of rapid urbanization and declining human contact with nature
- Reduced stress and lower background anxiety are byproducts of being able to take in a natural view and feeling like you have space to breathe and move. This isn’t just wishful thinking either — it’s supported by scientific studies that highlight walking in nature brings benefits a treadmill run at the gym cannot provide
- Increased levels of creativity happen as a result of being surrounded by vibrant colours, textures and forms that allow your imagination to flourish. A study on Danish professionals in the workplace found improvements in preparing and incubating ideas when they were immersed in nature
- Enhanced air quality can foster a more conducive environment for well-being and productivity. Research has shown that plants can improve indoor air quality by converting CO2 into O2, and by taking up pollutants from the air, which could potentially aid in mood management and general well-being. Utilizing plants to cleanse the air is a simple and cost-effective way to embrace better air quality, a concept supported by NASA’s research on houseplants’ ability to filter household toxins like formaldehyde.
- Biophilic design champions eco-conscious living through the use of recycled materials and local flora, reducing waste and environmental impact. These practices, while beautifying spaces, also promote a lifestyle in harmony with nature, contributing to a greener planet.
- Endless design variations cater to different aesthetic preferences while maintaining nature connectivity. From minimalist to maximalist approaches, its diverse range ensures unique nature-inspired character in every space, promoting well-being and reflecting individuality.
“Biophilic design can reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and expedite healing; as the world population continues to urbanize, these qualities are ever more important” – Terrapin Bright Green, a consultancy firm specializing in green architecture
Excited to rejuvenate your home environment? It’s time we showed you how to put this exciting design philosophy into action.
What Are the Key Biophilic Design Elements?
Getting the balance right can often be easier said than done when you want to bring nature indoors in a way that feels authentic and holistic. To make sure nothing is missed, we’re going to guide you through the key design elements and show you how to incorporate them into your space.
Natural light plays a central part in creating a biophilic living space that promotes your well-being and isn’t something you can afford to overlook. With many of us living in high-rise accommodation, it’s tempting to think that you have to move to the countryside to embrace natural light in your home, but that’s simply not the case.
Take a look at the large windows used to frame this delightful balcony garden and you’ll get a real sense of what’s possible. If you live in a house, rather than an apartment, there’s also the option of having skylights installed by a professional. Or if you’re on a budget, swap thick, heavy curtain fabrics for light and breezy options to make the most of the light. Plus no matter where you are, strategically placed mirrors will open up your space and allow the light to flow.
Indoor plants like the Charcoal Choobs and Kentia palm thrive indoors and need minimal watering and upkeep. You could also use a Bird’s Nest Fern to frame your windows and provide a pathway that takes your eye from your interiors to the natural view out the window.
The beautifully named Money Tree is another popular choice, as is the small and elegant Chinese Elm for those who want to explore the miniature world of bonsai horticulture. And last but by no means least, don’t forget the rich array of colours flowering Lilies will introduce to your space.
In a world in which synthetic wood products and plastic are everywhere you look, there’s a lot to be said for going in the other direction and reconnecting with nature. Sustainably sourced, organic materials like wood and stone can look the part in the modern home like this Nature House by Anchal. Handmade natural fabrics also work wonders when used to cover your living room furniture or to add a little touch of nature to the bedroom.
Source: Archilovers.com, Photo: Dariusz Jarząbek, Anna Salak
In case you hadn’t guessed, everything needs to look and feel natural if you’re going to embrace this uplifting design philosophy. Deep charcoal grey works wonders when set against lightly stained natural wood and the allure of wholesome greenery. Adding in a touch of faded sky blue and sunset orange will also help lift the mood and soothe the human psyche.
“We will never be truly healthy, satisfied, or fulfilled if we live apart and alienated from the environment from which we evolved” – Stephen R. Kellert, Biophilic Design Advocate
If you want to see how the experts do it, take a look at Rodesia Apartment below for some natural inspiration. By using understated tones you’ll find in abundance in the great outdoors, the designers have created a sense of calm and tranquillity that’s perfect for rebalancing your mental health.
Source: Archilovers.com, Photo: Isabela Mayer
Biophilic Living and Technology Integration
Modern advancements have paved the way for technology to seamlessly blend with biophilic design, ensuring a harmonious co-existence with nature, even within the four walls. Smart home systems now allow for a meticulous regulation of natural light, adjusting shades as per the time of the day, weather conditions, or your personal schedule. Moreover, apps dedicated to indoor plant care have emerged as digital green thumbs, guiding you on watering schedules, sunlight needs, and even monitoring soil health. Such technological integrations not only make embracing biophilic design easier but also add a touch of modernity to the natural essence.
Biophilic Design’s Community Values
Biophilic design isn’t just a solitary experience. It’s a communal endeavour that has the potential to foster interactions and build robust communities. Incorporating shared green spaces or community gardens in residential or corporate complexes can become spots of social interaction and collective nurturing. Nature-inspired communal areas serve as serene getaways from the urban chaos, promoting conversations, shared experiences, and a sense of belonging. Through these communal biophilic elements, individuals find themselves part of a larger ecosystem, nurturing not just plants but relationships.
“Biophilic design is about humanity’s place in nature and the natural world’s place in human society, where mutuality, respect, and enriching relationships can and should exist at all levels and should emerge as the norm rather than the exception” – Bill Browning, Co-founder of Terrapin Bright Green
Ready to transform your space? We thought so. Now, let’s dive into some simple changes you can start making right away…
Creative Biophilic Spaces Ideas to Explore
We’re excited to see what you do with these ideas. Have fun!
An Outdoor Garden Room
Creating a tropical conservatory with a transparent dome is an elegant way to feel truly connected to nature. Hypedome’s see-through polycarbonate shell allowing plenty of natural light to get in, weather-proof design and ability to lift your mood by providing a truly tranquil setting cannot be understated.
Eye-Catching Indoor Green Walls
Vertical gardens are a simple way to introduce a natural flourish into even the smallest living spaces. Think of them as a combination of elevated aesthetics and natural air purification and you’ll see it’s an idea well worth exploring a little further.
“The great thing about green walls is they look beautiful immediately; you don’t have to wait for the plants to grow to look good” – Lainey Richardson of Elaine Richardson Architect
Source: Elaine Richardson Architect for Houzz.com
Biophilic Art and Decor
Nature-inspired art is all about taking the time to find the beauty in the simple things that we all walk past every day. Take a look at the preserved botanicals below, or create your own natural artwork with freshly pressed flowers. Keeping it simple and letting the beauty of nature speak for itself works wonders.
We particularly love the idea of embracing this school of thought to add some natural balance to the heart of the home. A personal biophilic kitchen design that you’ve shaped with additions from the surrounding countryside will really mean something to you. Ideal when you want to create a tranquil and homely space that sets you free to get creative when you’re working on your next culinary masterpiece.
Window Boxes and Balcony Gardens
For those with limited space, window boxes and balcony gardens provide an inspired way to connect with the wonder of nature. Perfect for bringing views of the outdoors right into your home.
So, as we wrap up our little adventure into the realm of biophilic design, it’s now over to you to invite nature into your nook. Each leaf, every sunbeam, is a step towards turning your dwelling into a snug retreat that echoes with laughter and blooms with camaraderie.
And when your friends step into your newly spruced-up haven and feel the tranquil vibes, don’t be surprised if they’re keen to embrace a touch of green too. After all, creating a living space that’s a breath of fresh air in a concrete jungle isn’t just a decor choice, it’s a lifestyle statement. Now, who’s ready to turn over a new leaf?