Biophilia is defined as the inherent human inclination to affiliate with nature and it stems from the Greek meaning “love of life.” Biophilic design incorporates natural materials, natural light, plants, nature views and other experiences of the natural world into our modern day built environment.
The concept which has become increasingly popular over the last few years encourages us to become more connected with nature, and by doing so, we can expect to benefit from reduced stress levels, enhanced creativity and improved wellbeing. The trend is taking off and you’ll see an increasing number of biophilic design schemes in offices, hotels, shopping centres and in homes across the UK.
Architectural and interior designer, Oliver Heath is a biophilic design consultant and describes the approach as deliberately “human-centred”, creating spaces that make people feel happy, as well as making them more creative and productive. As it’s reported that we spend an average of 90 percent of our time indoors it makes sense that we incorporate the beauty of nature in our everyday surroundings, even if it is indoors.
As one of the UK’s leading authorities on natural stone and stone-effect porcelain, we understand the benefits of using natural materials in design projects. A recent report from Human Spaces, “Biophilic Design in Hospitality” focuses on the introduction of biophilia in hotels. It found that hotels are purposefully designing spaces that blur the line between indoors and outdoors areas and by introducing plants, living walls, natural lighting, woods and natural stone they are creating open spaces that encourage guest wellness and relaxation when combined with more traditional furniture and decor.
The report also found that 36% more guests spent time in biophilic hotel spaces than non-biophilic spaces, concluding that biophilia is an instrumental part of building a positive and immersive guest experience.
Hotels are not alone in seeing positive results from incorporating biophilic design, offices are reaping vast benefits in employee engagement. A study by global carpet designers, Interface, surveyed over 7,000 office workers across 16 countries found that workspaces with biophilic elements were 6% more productive, had 15% higher levels of self-reported well-being and were 15% more creative. Our project at the Bank of Montreal created a welcoming and relaxing environment using marble-look porcelain on the reception desk and reception area.
Incorporating natural materials like greenery, stone floors and stone-look retail display units can all help to improve the shopping environment by adding texture, vibrancy and creativity. Biophilic design in retail has positive psychological and economic benefits for customers and for retail staff.
Our team of designers are experts at enhancing spaces using the principles of biophilic design through the use of natural stone. If you would like to find out more about biophilic design, request some samples, or simply get in touch to discuss your next design project – we’d love to hear from you.