A Nod To Nature: Biophilic Interior Design

Biophilic design aims to emulate the look and feel of the outdoors in indoor spaces. Today on the blog, we explore the enduring concept of biophilic design and the benefits of incorporating all-things-nature into your interior designs.

Photo by Prudence Earl

Biophilic Design graphic

The Roots of Biophilic Design

The principles behind biophilic design were first developed at the Seattle Zoo in the early 1990s. At the time, psychologist Judith Heerwagen was working to improve enclosure conditions for large primates who were demonstrating aggressive and antisocial behavior. The animals began to thrive only after the zoo adopted enclosures that mimicked their natural habitats, setting into motion a design strategy that is used in exterior and interior design today. 

Today, biophilic design is used in the design of everything from malls to hotel lobbies to wedding venues. The rationale behind incorporating natural elements into indoor spaces is plain: decor reminiscent of nature has been known to boost moods, lower stress levels, encourage creativity, and foster productivity.

Contrary to common belief, biophilic design involves much more than lining your window sills with an army of houseplants. Below, we break down a few important principals of biophilic design.

Principles of Biophilic Design

Biophilic design can be organized into three categories: nature in the space, nature of the space, and natural analogs.

Nature in the Space

The nature in the space refers to the direct presence of nature, be that in a visual, olfactory, or haptic sense. Some examples include houseplants, views of nature, and organic materials, such as stone, exposed brick, or reclaimed wood

Image by Arek Socha

Nature of the Space

The nature of the space refers to the feelings evoked by the natural environment. With biophilic design, you are trying to replicate these feelings. One way to do this is by including plenty of natural light sources in your space, which can help to emulate the vibrancy of the outdoors.

Natural Analogues

Natural analogs use indirect methods, such as patterns, shapes, and textures, to signify nature. Another way to do this is by using naturally-inspired colors, such as shades of blue and green or sand-tones.

How Professional Designers are Embracing Biophilia

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