BIOPHILIC DESIGN PRINCIPLES

1. Improving the direct connection to nature. Plants, trees, water, natural light and fresh air.

2. Indirect connection to nature. How we evoke or mimic a sense of nature.

3. Human spatial response. How we connect with direct or indirect references to nature. This centres on how we create spaces that are energising, stimulating and aspirational.

A biophilic designer

As a biophilic designer, I specialise in creating productive, healthy spaces for life and work. I do this by looking to increase the connection with nature in homes or workplaces. I choose materials for their texture, colour and pattern, which all speak of the natural world.

Biophilia in Charlotte Findlater designs.

  • Natural palette – neutral, natural colours and tones
  • Natural shapes – organic lines and forms
  • Natural patterns – through rhythm and scale
  • Natural light – sunlight, merging the inside and outside
  • Natural elements – real or faux plants, images of nature
  • Natural mimicry – artificial lighting design to replicate nature
  • Natural connections – internal and external views of nature
  • Natural health – air quality, ventilation, thermal comfort
  • Natural materials – texture, colour, pattern and shape
  • Natural wellbeing – psychological and physiological effects of the space
  • Natural comfort – acoustic levels and optimisation of space

Biophilia means a love of nature.

Biophilic design recreates the relationship between humans and nature within the built environment. In our homes or places of work.

Biophilia refers to our innate tendency as human beings to connect with nature. This is an intrinsic part of our psyche and is primal. We gravitate towards places that incorporate natural elements.

American biologist Edward O Wilson popularised the term biophilia in the 1980s. He observed that urbanisation was leading to a disconnection with the natural world.

We spend almost 93% of our time inside buildings. And much of this time is within the home and workplace, away from natural elements. Biophilic interior design connects us with nature even when we are inside. Helping us to feel happier, healthier, more creative and protected. It creates a sense of harmony between our homes and workplaces and the natural world.

Think of walking on a beach and the sound of crashing waves. Or a walk amongst the trees. Being in nature like this has a positive impact on our mood and wellbeing. Using biophilic principles in design has the same effect. It promotes mental and physical health.

Biophilic design benefits for home and work

Everyday life is incredibly stressful at times. In these moments, nature can have the most profound and soothing effect.

Wood cladding on a wall, stone flooring, a vase of flowers, a house plant, a chunky throw, or natural linen curtains. By reflecting nature, they all have a cathartic and soothing effect on the mind and soul.

World Health Organization research shows incorporating nature in the built environment can:

  • reduce stress
  • lower blood pressure and heart rates
  • increase self-reported rates of wellbeing

Biophilic design is also connected to:

  • a reduction in crime rates in residential areas
  • improved patient recovery times
  • increased learning ability leading to better test results in schools

Amazon’s rainforest office. Microsoft’s treehouses. Google’s giant rooftop garden. Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Amazon all invest in biophilic design. It’s led to improved employee concentration, cognitive ability, engagement, and interaction. As well as a reduction in absences.

Biophilic design is a new hallmark of employee-focused workplace design.

“This is what I seek to create for my clients. A new calm and considered approach to the way you live in your home or experience your workplace.”

Charlotte Findlater