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Biophilic design enhances wellbeing

Posted by Tiina Mustonen on November 17, 2017
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We interviewed Kenny Hytönen, the executive consultant of consulting and interior design agency Workspace, to find out how you can enhance your workplace wellbeing by bringing nature indoors in more ways than one. The article also relies on information taken from Human Spaces: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace report.

Our mission, here at Naava, is to reconnect humanity with nature again. Incorporating nature into interior design in different ways is a simple way of improving the level of comfort indoors. Connection with nature, also known as biophilia, is an innate, subconscious need for us humans.

Biophilic design has its roots in a global megatrend, urbanization. Although we now live mostly indoors, our need to feel connected to nature hasn’t disappeared. Biophilic design aims to create a natural environment indoors.

We now live mostly indoors, but our need to feel connected to nature hasn’t disappeared.

Productivity and creativity flourish in an environment designed according to the principles of biophilic design. A pop of greenery should especially be incorporated in spaces where you go to take a break. This simple trick helps you relax and recover. (Human Spaces: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace)  

Relaxing water, assertive stone

In addition to plants, nature can be brought indoors with the help of pictures. A painting of a landscape or a nice wallpaper can make all the difference and set the mood for the space. A seafront view calms the mind in both nature and the office. Pay attention to choosing a landscape that tells the story of your brand: is your mental landscape in the woods, at the beach, in the heart of busy Manhattan or maybe even in space?

Moreover, nature can be incorporated indoors with symbolism. The use of nature’s own materials, such as wood and stone, and textiles with natural textures create a natural feel to an indoor environment.

The choice of materials can also convey meanings through the mental images they create. While wooden surfaces feel earthy and warm, stone is a colder material which brings to mind assertiveness and dignity.

In addition to visual elements, the feel of nature can be recreated through other senses. For instance, different sounds of nature, such as flowing water or rustling leaves are natural, calming background noises to us.  The sounds of nature are also used to support mindfulness exercises, which is a good indication of their focus enhancing effects.

We long for fresh air

Improvement of the quality of indoor air has a significant impact on working conditions. In addition to opening a window, plants can also freshen up indoor air. However, cracking open the windows might not always be such a good idea in big cities, as the pollution can get in and make matters worse.  

The outside temperature can also be an obstacle to ventilation. That’s why plants are a universal, year-round solution for bringing natural air indoors. The natural air purification efficiency of plants can be enhanced, as we have done with our Naava smart green walls.

A dog getting some fresh air.

… and natural light

There are also plenty of options to choose from in order to create lighting similar to the natural light outdoors. You’ve probably heard about circadian rhythm before, which is like our internal clock? The importance of lighting in keeping up a circadian rhythm is significant, which is why you should pay attention to how you light up your workplace, as that’s where you spend most of the brightest hours of the day in.

Working in natural light is the ideal situation for almost of all of us. It is one of the most sought-after features in a work environment. (Human Spaces: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace)

The results in improving workplace satisfaction and productivity with symbolic means are almost as impressive as real nature experiences. All in all, it is clear that it pays off to add natural elements into workspaces.  

WAYS OF INCORPORATING NATURE INDOORS

  • Plants
  • Pictures of nature, nature themed wallpapers
  • Materials
  • Sounds
  • Fresh air
  • Use of natural materials in furniture

How about bringing the outdoors indoors at your premises, too?

Contact us to learn more. We'd be happy to tell you more about the different ways of utilizing biophilic elements to create a natural environment indoors. 

 
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