What is Biophilic Design?

17th August 2022, Luke Giovingo,  Workspace Configuration
Incorporating Biophilic Design Into Your Workplace

Biophilic design increases our connectivity to nature through direct and indirect exposure to features from nature, as well as spatial and aromatic conditions. Having a connection to nature can decrease stress levels, enhance mood, and improve cognitive function, allowing you to focus better and for longer periods of time. Also, increasingly, companies are starting to pay more attention to the mental and physical well-being of their employees, customers, and visitors. Biophilic design is a way of doing that with the design of the space itself.  

Plants 

Plants in an office next to the desk

Incorporating plants into the workspace is one of the easiest ways to bring the outside indoors. You can do a little as bring in a few small plants or something large and impressive, like building a plant wall. We often notice what is directly in front of us to determine our mood. Therefore, having something real-looking and organically-growing, like a Peace Lily, Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree or Snake Plant, within eyeshot can help us find peace and help promote focus. Plants can also help improve the air quality of your space, as they improve the oxygen levels indoors through photosynthesis and will naturally filter out potentially harmful toxins. This can help alleviate employee sickness and absenteeism in the long-term.  

Smell 

Smelling a flower

 
Smells are naturally attached to memories. More and more companies are turning to Olfactory Branding to help encourage employees and visitors to have a positive association between a specific smell and your brand. By capitalizing on this positive association, you are allowing for increased focus, positive outlooks, and improved collaboration among your team. Use natural smells like Summer Rain, Jasmine, and Freshly Mown Grass through either a metered dispenser or through the HVAC system.  

Lighting 

Natural Lighting in a building space

Natural lighting is good for you. That’s a given. It can boost your mood, help improve your circadian rhythm and sleeping habits, and boost your Vitamin D, which reduces inflammation. But just how do we get natural lighting into a workplace? Windows, skylights, glass doors, and more are all great ways of bringing in natural light. But if you don’t have the ability to have skylights, floor-to-ceiling windows, French doors, etc., there are plenty of other ways. Sun lamps are a great investment for a darker workplace and will mimic the intensity of the sun throughout the day.  

Colors 

Desks and chairs

While “Earth tones” is often reserved for browns, taupes, and ambers, the earth has many more colors than that. Use colors that mimic natural landscapes. Light blues or whites on the walls and/or ceiling for the sky, browns and greens for carpets, and stone or natural wood-toned flooring. Pepper some reds and purples and yellows throughout the space as accents.