Human beings are said to be intuitively attuned to relate to nature. A walk through the woods calms us, and the sounds of rain or chirping birds soothes us. These are all effects of “biophilia”.
Biophilic Design aims to create architectural environments that increase people’s connection to nature, and is being incorporated into offices, residences, hotels and public spaces around the world by UK Biophilic Designer Oliver Heath and others.
Perhaps you’ve experienced one of the following:
“I took a walk in the forest, which calmed and helped cleared my mind.”
“I lay on the beach and gazed out at the ocean and suddenly had a great idea!”
“I smelled my favorite scent and felt my mood improve.”
These are examples of “biophilia”, an innate and genetically determined human affinity to connect with the natural world.
Many of us live in urban environments with little direct access to nature, spending our days in surroundings designed solely for function and productivity. Biophilic Design focuses on our instinctive desire for biophilia, respecting human comfort and well-being with elements that increase productivity and creativity, as well as our spiritual and physical happiness. Biophilic Design has been proven to elevate these aspects.
The KANSEI Projects Committee creates visual data of scientifically evaluated human sensibilities, drawing verbal conclusions of which elements, such as greenery, scents and sounds, will elevate the comfort of a space. Biophilic Design elements speak to each of the five human senses in relation to people, time and space.
- 1.Direct Contact with Nature
- Elements of nature including light, plants, natural scenery, air quality, and water sounds are incorporated directly into the architectural design of a space. Being in direct contact with nature reduces stress and restores mental and physical energy.
- 2.Indirect Contact with Nature
- Nature-inspired textiles and colors, as well as patterns and designs of natural elements such as plants and rocks are incorporated into the building materials and interior design of a space. Though contact with nature is indirect, a sense of relaxation and joy emerges.
- 3.Human Reactions to Space
- Spaces are designed based on human behavior including where people seat themselves and how they go about their activities. Focusing on human movement allows for an energy-filled space, a calming locale, or a restorative environment resembling the outdoors.