Biophilia, the trend for introducing plants into building design both at home and at work, has life-enhancing benefits
From creating kitchens that open up onto the outside area, to incorporating sustainably sourced and reclaimed woods into interior décor, the boundaries between the indoors and outdoors are being blurred, and the trend for bringing the outside in has been gaining ground.As the boundaries between the indoors and outdoors are being blurred, Biophilia, the trend for bringing the outside in, has been gaining ground. #biophilia #designtrends Click To Tweet
But taking things up a gear is the trend for biophilic design. According to office plants and landscaping specialist Ambius, an increasing number of architects and designers are incorporating plants, green walls, and large green installations into designs as part of the construction or renovation of a building, as opposed to it being a later decorative addition.
While this trend may partly be rooted in a heightened concern for the environment, it is also undoubtedly a response to the urbanisation megatrend , the impact of the Covid pandemic, plus a desire to be closer to nature.
With 68% of the world’s population predicted to live in urban areas by 2050, as we are becoming more removed from all that is natural and rural, green integration can be seen as some form of counterbalance or antidote.
The wellness trend is a key driver behind the rise of biophilic design, driven by our increased interest in ensuring our homes are healthy places to live. Having plants indoors is known to improve air quality by filtering air and removing toxins, as well as combat dry air caused by air-conditioning in an office environment.
Similarly, having them in view is said to reduce stress levels. In 2010 the University of Technology in Sydney found that there was a 37% fall in reported tension and anxiety, and a 58% reduction in depression or dejection after introducing plants into offices.
As a result, more companies are bringing them into an office environment to help improve workers’ performance and creativity – a famous example is the Amazon HQ in Seattle, which has over 40,000 individual plants in the building, which provides work areas and meeting places for employees away from its traditional office in the city.
Incorporating living walls and room dividers has practical as well as space-enhancing benefits. Screens with integrated greenery offer flexible ways to section off private spaces in an office environment, but also in an open-plan living area, as well as having noise-reduction benefits.
But biophilic design elements aren’t just restricted to plants – the key is to provide a connection to nature, and this can be achieved in the soothing form of a fish tank or even an indoor water feature. Pinterest revealed that among its top 100 trends that it predicts consumers will try in 2020 is ‘indoor water fountains’. Searches for these were up by a massive 917%, while searches for indoor micro greens were up by 223% and garden rooms were up by 104%.
The interior lighting trend is also emerging as a key component. With both home and office workers being deprived of hours of natural daylight, biodynamic lighting systems are being developed that mimic natural patterns and cycles. This helps regulate our circadian rhythm, which in turn is said to improve sleep patterns and mood regulation.