The concept of biophilia – that we are innately drawn to the natural world – is no stranger to the design industry. In this month’s news aggregate, we explore how forward-thinking organizations are increasingly implementing biophilic elements and consider the latest conversation surrounding this approach.
Building Design+Construction mentions the rise of biophilic design in a roundup of 10 sustainability movements that are top of mind for innovative brands, noting that biophilia goes beyond simply adding plants or a living wall – it involves a more meaningful connection to “patterns, rhythms and textures of nature and natural materials.” Rather than only including plants and succulents, top companies are thoughtfully integrating the notion into overall building design and corporate culture.
NBC News discusses how tech giants like Google, Microsoft and Amazon are elevating today’s ideas of bringing the outdoors inside. In Google’s Chicago office, for example, employees can adjust the color temperature of the lighting to access light that simulates sunshine. Microsoft built “treehouse meeting spaces,” while Amazon’s glass-paneled “Spheres” feature large living walls with hundreds of plant species.
Tech companies aren’t the only institutions embracing this mindset– Washington Business Journal highlights a law office with a living wall and a rock bed anchoring a three-story staircase that links each of the floors. Meanwhile, Press Herald examines Nature Conservancy’s Maine headquarters, which features a carpet in the main work area that is deliberately representative of biophilic design – full of yellow and green shades and a natural gradation.
As scientific evidence mounts indicating the advantages of incorporating biophilic elements, more employers are leaning in to biophilia in the workplace. NBC News shares research on how the inclusion of natural scenery can enhance employee mood, morale and productivity, including one study that found “staring at an image of natural scenery for 40 seconds was enough to trigger the brain into a more relaxed state.” NBC News also comments on organic aromas and acoustics – such as the smells of the forest or the sounds of running water – as having beneficial health effects.
Corporate Wellness Magazine delves into the positive impact of biophilic design on mental wellbeing, productivity and energy levels for employees, particularly with large open settings that expose employees to sunlight and outdoor views. Mindbodygreen echoes this sentiment, recommending the integration of natural details and colors to encourage well-being, reduce fatigue and create a more inspiring work experience overall.
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