Updated: Oct 15, 2019
Biophilia is a fancy term used to describe the innate connection we, as humans, have with nature and our need for regular interactions with natural environments in order to maintain our health and well-being.
A regular connection to nature has been proven to assist with psychological restoration, improve mental alertness, have a positive effect on our mood and increase our levels of happiness. Unfortunately, in today's bustling, hi-tech world we are becoming more and more estranged from nature and this is adding to our levels of stress.
It is commonly known that one of the key factors to maintaining a positive well being is to reduce stress levels. The World Health Organisation has forecast that stress related illnesses like mental health disorders and cardiovascular disease will be the biggest contributors to disease by 2020. Numerous studies have identified that visible connections to nature reduce stress levels while views of buildings and roads increase levels of reported stress. It has further been indicated that people living in urban areas with little natural environmental experiences have a higher susceptibility to mental illness.
Biophilic experiences have also been shown to produce a faster rate of recovery from of physical illness and disease as well as boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure. In fact, there is a practice in Japan called 'Shinrin Yoku' or "forest bathing" which was part of the nations public health program and has since been linked to cancer prevention.
Interior design using biophilic elements like natural materials, colours and forms, natural lighting, indoor plants and views of gardens and/or natural landscapes helps us repair and maintain our psychological wellbeing, reduce stress and provide respite.
If you have think your home or office space could benefit from a boost in biophilia, the following steps may help:
Allow natural light and air flow - this means opening your curtains/blinds and windows as often as possible.
Decorate with natural materials and in natural colour tones. Tones of green that are found in healthy vegetation can be particularly beneficial.
Add natural greenery with indoor plants (1 plant per 9sqm is recommended. You can read more on this here).
If you do not have window views of outdoor environments consider hanging photography or paintings of natural views.
If you have a garden, spend time in it, grow trees and plants that enhance your view from indoors.
Reduce screen time and spend time outdoors as often as possible.
If you feel you could benefit from a design consultation then please contact us or you can join up and utilise our forum to share ideas and get advice and support from like-minded people.