LOCKDOWN CURE: BIOPHILIC DESIGN
I am renovating again, but this time in a different world. Lockdown changed the way we see and design our homes. I would like to share with you a new design trend that is a long time due between renovation maniacs like me! Biophilic design.
My “I am a city girl” motto has changed after the lockdowns. My soul and body respond better to soil, sea breeze and dancing bamboos. Let’s accept the fact that our metabolism is not happy living between four walls, with a pot plant at the corner and a palm printed cushion. We need more than that in our homes to rejuvenate and we tried… New trends come all the time to bring nature in. Vertical gardens, nature printed wallpapers, all these YouTube channels popping up about plants… I have tried many of these new trends for the recent renovation I shared from my YouTube channel and Instagram, but it still feels like “not enough”. I came across a design concept called Biophilic design. It is not new, in fact, some are similar to ancient Feng Shui principles, but I think will be more widely used after the pandemic we live in.
First, the Biophilia hypothesis is the idea that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life (ref: Britannica). We are wired to listen to the waves, watch the fire, and smell the air after the rain. When you walk into a new space, have you ever told yourself “wow, this feels nice”? From a design perspective, Biophilic design explains why some places feel great and others don’t. I know there are many design considerations architects think very carefully about, but many come to Biophilic design attributes. Kellert seems like the father of this design, google if you need more information.
6 ATTRIBUTES OF BIOPHILIC DESIGN
There are 6 attributes of Biophilic Design, which can all be classified under three categories. We will try to reconnect with nature as much as we can, by thinking and designing around these three categories. For example, if your land has a beautiful tree, you will have direct experience with nature, and placing windows capturing the best view of the tree or even building the house around the tree is something you can consider. The indirect experience of nature refers to contact with the representation or image of nature. Marble tiles, wood furniture or a stone bathtub can be some examples.
Experience of space and place implies spatial features characteristic of the natural environment that have advanced human health and wellbeing. Think about transactions between spaces, common use of spaces, spiritual, cultural connections we have with land or opportunities for discovery. Simply put: the more we think around these details the more connected we will be to nature and the more attractive our design will be. It is similar to strategic planning for your company. I find “staring” at the place I will renovate, very, very useful. Feel the light, air, water, animals, weather, plants, and anything else that is around you. I know it is hard to think and plan them all, but looks like we will be indoors for a while, wellbeing benefits are all proven, let’s try as much as we can for our future renovation
INCREASE ENERGY DECREASE STRESS LEVEL
Shortly summarise the health, mind, and body benefits before I wrap up. There are many research papers but if you have read so far, you already know how you feel when you are connected to the nature. Your productivity and energy level will increase, stress level will decrease, sleep cycle will improve. You will feel calmer, happier and a sense of belonging. There are even some research papers that link Biophilic Design to higher self-esteem, creativity, and positive thinking.