Biophilic Design: The Concept Behind ARCHYI.’s Creation
You have probably already heard or read about “Biophilia”, since it is a concept first popularized by the American biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author, Edward O. Wilson in 1984. Standing for the innate relationship between humans and nature, and concerns the need we have to be continually connected to nature, the interest in biophilia has grown substantially over the last decades, mostly due to the rapid urbanization of the modern world. We started to realize our cities and suburbs have been designed in a way that alienates us from nature and degrades the environment.
So, to address the challenge of designing the places in which we live and work in such a way that satisfies our deep and fundamental need to be connected with nature, biophilic design has emerged.
Researches confirmed that people prefer the natural environment, rather than one with a predominance of man built structures, and even though it has been suggested at some point that this desire for a connection with nature is the result of an anti-urban preconception combined with a oneiric view of nature, environmental psychology research tells us that being connected to nature, is in fact, an adaptive human function that allows for, and assists with, psychological restoration.
This means that within an urbanized environment, bringing in elements that allow direct or indirect nature connections – such as gardens and lakes or through interior design natural elements, like nature-resembling colors and patterns, indoor plants and views of greenery – can help us to mentally recover and provide a rest from our day-to-day activities, to maintain positive well-being.
The United Nations predicts that by 2030, 60% of the world’s population will live in urban environments. Therefore, it is imperative that we consider how the human-nature connection can still be provided to those residing in towns and cities. The answer to this challenge is biophilic design -intentional, impactful design that connects us to the natural world – affects the way we feel, work and create. Because design that connects us to nature is proven to inspire us, boost our productivity and even contribute to our health and a stronger sense of well-being.
The Impact Biophilic Design Can Have on Our Lives
Numerous studies on the benefits of incorporating and improving a connection to nature into the built environment that was implemented over the last 40 years revealed interesting statistics.
Concerning office design, productivity can be increased by 8%, rates of well-being up by 13%. General increases in creativity levels and reduced absenteeism and presentism are also a common outcome.
In Hospitality, biophilic design elements lead guests to be willing to pay 23% more for their rooms. Incorporating biophilic elements in education spaces increases rates of learning 20-25%, improves test results, concentration and attendance levels.
Healthcare facilities are no exception, designing these spaces assuring that connection to nature reduces post-operative rates of recovery by 8.5%, and pain medication by 22%.
Biophilia also affects our willing: the presence of vegetation & landscaping in retail spaces has been found to increase average rental rates. In the mentioned studies, customers indicated they were willing to pay 8-12 % more for goods and services.
Residential spaces can also become more calming & restorative and can command an increase of 4-5% in property price.
Bringing the Best of Nature into the Workplace
Businesses at the vanguard of workplace design such as Apple, Google and Amazon are investing heavily in Biophilic Design elements. Following these principles have shown to improve worker concentration, engagement, and cognitive ability but also to attract and retain staff in the “war for talent”:
- optimization and organization of spaces with a human focus
- thermal comfort levels
- air quality, toxin levels, and ventilation
- acoustic comfort
- improved natural and artificial lighting
- internal and external views onto nature
- the use of natural materials textures, patterns, and colors
- the incorporation of recuperative spaces
- the aesthetic environment with brand recognition
- psychological and physiological effects of the space
When we are talking about the application of the biophilic design method to workspaces, the effects of providing this connection to nature go much further than simple employee satisfaction. It has been demonstrated multiple times through research to reduce stress, blood pressure levels, and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity, creativity, self-reported rates of well-being, improving staff retention and crucially reducing absenteeism and presentism, potentially saving businesses thousands of pounds.
The evolutionary biologist that introduced us to biophilia, Wilson, argued that our natural affinity for life–biophilia–is the very essence of our humanity and binds us to all other living things. And this was also the essence behind the creation of ARCHYI.
Inspired by Nature and moved by our passion for communication, we started developing our concepts, collections, and products. With a clear look and feel at the grasp of nature, its powerful yet delicate details, shapes, colors, and textures we found the right design elements to work with.
But since nature is not only the best designer there is, but also the greatest teacher, it was in nature that we found inspiration to create products that essentially help people to communicate and work together in a fluid, natural way – as all living innately creatures do.