We're working longer hours than ever before, and spending over 90% of our time indoors. There's no wonder that biophilic design - or the art of blending nature into the spaces we live and work in - is one of the hottest trends in office design. It's all to do with our innate desire to connect with nature, even in a situation where that connection may seem impossible. Biophilic design allows us to get in touch with the new natural, and boost our creativity and productivity as an important by-product of this organic approach to design.
The art of the curve - There's a reason why we find engineered and minimalist spaces unappealing to work in, and it's closely linked to our perception of hostile space. Sharp lines and angles are often perceived as sterile and man-made, whereas the organic sweep of a curve invites conversation that may lead to innovation. Consider acoustic meeting pods which provide informal meeting spaces and harness the power of the natural curve to invite collaboration and creativity for a biophilic office that embraces the new natural and is both engaging and empowering.
Going green - Perhaps unsurprisingly, green is critical to the success of any biophilic scheme having a proven positive effect on productivity, creativity and motivation. Take your colour palette from nature, combining soft and tranquil greens with the colours of fruit and flowers to which our eyes are naturally attracted when outdoors. Organic shades of earth, gold, sky blue and off-white produce a relaxing and comfortable environment that attunes the brain to the life outdoors. Combined with the use of natural textures and materials, biophilic design creates a new natural light in the built environment.
Pay attention to planting - Whether you opt for real plants with air purifying properties or fake plants to create a low maintenance green wall, your aim is to create an interior landscape that is naturalistic and informal, that blurs the edges between the indoors and the outdoors as artlessly as possible. The trick is to fool the eye into believing it's viewing a natural landscape thus improving both concentration and mood.