Example of biophilic design - living room with large windows, nature outside
Biophilic Design

What Is Biophilic Design? Discover This Powerful Design Concept

Biophilic design is an innovative philosophy that brings the positive effects of nature right into your home. It creates a harmonious environment that promotes well-being. This design approach is all about incorporating natural elements, such as plants, sunlight, and earthy colors, into your space. By doing so, it not only reduces stress but also boosts your overall health and happiness. Imagine stepping into a room filled with greenery and natural light – it’s like bringing the beauty of the outdoors indoors.

And don’t worry about breaking the bank – biophilic design is accessible to everyone, regardless of budget or space limitations. So why wait? Embrace biophilic design today and transform your home or workspace into a sanctuary where you can thrive in harmony with nature.

Biophilia and biophilic design

Biophilia refers to our innate connection with nature, and biophilic design aims to incorporate this connection into our built environment. The term was first coined psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in 1973, to refer to the passionate love of life and all living things. The term as it is used today in relation to design was first used by biologist Edward O. Wilson, in his book “Biophilia” (1984). He suggested that humans have an innate need to connect with nature and other living forms due to our evolutionary history. This idea is evident in our daily lives as we seek out nature, travel to national parks, enjoy beaches, and engage in sports like skiing and mountain biking. That we also value homes with nature views, and love animals (there are tens of millions of pet owners), further underscores our biophilic tendencies. Embracing biophilic design can bring the beauty and benefits of nature into our living spaces, promoting well-being and a deeper connection to the world around us. By integrating natural elements and patterns, biophilic design creates spaces that promote physical and mental health.

The connection between people and nature is essential for our well-being, and biophilic design recognizes the importance of fostering this relationship. Through the use of natural materials, such as plants and sunlight, biophilic design brings the outdoors indoors, creating a sense of harmony and tranquility.

This approach not only enhances the aesthetics of a space but also improves productivity and reduces stress levels. So get ready to explore the fascinating world of biophilia and discover how it can transform our living and working environments.

What is biophilic design?

Originally embraced by architects and then by interior designers, biophilic design focuses on creating spaces that foster a deep connection with nature. By integrating natural elements into interior design, biophilic design offers numerous benefits for human health and well-being.

Here are three key aspects of biophilic design:

  1. Embracing the natural environment: Biophilic design incorporates natural elements such as plants, sunlight, and earthy colors to mimic the outdoors within indoor spaces. This creates a calming and soothing environment that enhances overall well-being.
  2. Strengthening the human-nature connection: Biophilic design aims to restore our relationship with nature by incorporating natural shapes, patterns, and light. These elements evoke feelings of comfort and relaxation while promoting a sense of belonging in our surroundings.
  3. Recognizing the benefits: Research has shown that biophilic design can reduce stress levels, improve productivity, and enhance creativity. It also contributes to better air quality and increased biodiversity within urban environments.

By embracing biophilic design principles in architectural projects and interior spaces, we can create environments that not only look visually appealing but also contribute to our overall health and happiness.

Striking Biophilic Design

Biophilic ideas in architectural design and furniture style has created some stunning designs. By embracing natural patterns, organic forms, and shapes that occur in nature, designers seek to create spaces and products that reconnect individuals with the natural world, promoting a sense of well-being and harmony. In the 1960s brutal modernism was seen as the cutting edge of design, and it is about as far removed from biophilic design as it could be. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the residential buildings in the brutalist style proved to not be great places to live, essentially because they stripped away nature and natural shapes and replaced them with concrete and angled lines.

Science has demonstrated the huge value in reconnecting with nature, and the important of biophilic design. Putting nature in modern buildings – particularly workspaces, hospitals and schools – can be hugely beneficial for the people using those spaces. Organic forms, inspired by the curves and contours of plants and animals, not only provide aesthetic appeal but also facilitate a more calming and nurturing environment. Furthermore, shapes found in nature, like waves or leaf structures, can be integrated into architectural and furniture designs, generating a sense of familiarity and comfort. Ultimately, the use of biophilic design in both architecture and furniture design aims to foster a stronger connection between humans and nature, nurturing a healthier and more sustainable way of living.

What are the health benefits of biophilic design?

Even if you live in a city and are an urbanite, I’m sure you have experienced the power of the natural landscape. You might not have stopped to think about why it makes you feel relaxed, or calm, but recently science has proven the benefits of nature on our wellbeing and mental health. As a result, biophilic design offers a multitude of health benefits by incorporating natural features into our living and work spaces, meaning we don’t have to go to a specific place to enjoy some of the positive effects.

One of the key advantages is its ability to reduce stress levels. Research has shown that exposure to nature in indoor environments can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, and promote relaxation.

Additionally, biophilic design has been linked to increased productivity and creativity, as well as fewer sick days. By bringing elements of the outdoors inside, you create a sense of connection with nature that positively impacts your overall health.

Incorporating elements of nature into hospital environments has shown to have a positive effect on patients recovering from surgery. Studies have indicated that exposure to natural elements like sunlight, greenery, and views of nature can reduce stress, promote faster recovery, and improve overall well-being (think about that the next time you’re in a hospital… I wish the application of this was used in more health facilities!).

Why not transform your spaces with biophilic design and experience these health benefits for yourself?

What are the main principles of biophilic design?

bedroom filled with plants and natural colours

Immerse yourself in the natural world with principles that emphasize the harmonious integration of organic elements, sunlight, and greenery. Biophilic design offers a transformative approach to creating interior spaces that connect us with nature. By incorporating these principles into our built environment, we can enhance our well-being and create a sense of belonging.

  • Use natural materials
  • Incorporate natural light
  • Include vegetation and plant life
  • Create views to nature
  • Introduce water elements

With these principles in mind, we can create interior spaces that foster a deep connection with nature while promoting health and well-being.

What is the difference between green design and biophilic design?

To understand the distinction between green design and biophilic design, you need to recognize their unique focuses on environmental sustainability and the integration of nature in built spaces.

While both approaches prioritize sustainable practices, biophilic design goes beyond by emphasizing the incorporation of natural elements to create a deeper connection with nature. Biophilic design aims to replicate the positive effects of nature in buildings and landscapes, using natural materials and shapes to foster a sense of harmony with the environment.

In contrast, green design primarily focuses on reducing negative environmental impacts through energy efficiency and resource conservation – the shapes, patterns and designs do not have to reflect nature, but only to help the environment.

Is biophilic design expensive?

Do you love the idea of biophilic design, but you’re concerned about the cost of incorporating nature-inspired elements into your space? Don’t worry, biophilic design doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, there are many affordable options available that can still provide numerous benefits for your health and well-being. Here are three ways in which biophilic design can be cost-effective:

1) Use natural materials: Incorporating natural elements such as wood or stone can add a touch of nature to your space without the need for expensive renovations. This could be a wooden wall feature, wooden furniture, a slate tile backsplash, or woven baskets.

2) Use natural shapes: Incorporating patterns and processes found in nature, such as organic shapes or flowing lines, can also have a positive impact on your well-being. This can be furniture with flowing lines, or as simple as a botanical print on curtains or cushion covers.

3) Optimize natural light: Make the most of the natural light in your space. This not only reduces energy costs but also creates a more inviting and productive environment.

4) Integrate plants: Adding plants to your space is an inexpensive way to bring nature indoors. They not only improve air quality but also create a calming and serene atmosphere.

By implementing these strategies, you can enjoy the benefits of biophilic design without breaking the bank. So why wait? Start practicing biophilic design principles today and see how it improves your health and well-being in a budget-friendly way!

A series of woven baskets hung on a wall

“Nature of the Space”

The nature of the space is at the core of biophilic design, and it involves incorporating elements of nature in both interior and exterior environments.

Imagine transforming your space into a natural oasis that seamlessly blends with the surrounding environment. With biophilic design, you can create a space that embraces nature and enhances your connection to it.

Whether it’s through the use of plants, natural materials, or maximizing natural light, every element contributes to creating a biophilic space. By embracing the principles of biophilic design, you can transform your space into a sanctuary that nurtures your mind, body, and soul while fostering a sense of belonging to the natural world around you.


So, now you understand the concept of biophilic design and its numerous benefits. By incorporating elements of nature into your workspace or home, you can create a more harmonious and productive environment.

2 offices, one grey and bland, the other filled with nature

For example, let’s imagine you work in a busy office building with no access to natural light. By implementing biophilic design principles such as adding plants and artwork depicting nature scenes, you can create a calming atmosphere that reduces stress and increases focus.

The same can be applied to a small apartment space. By using light, natural colours, bringing in houseplants whether large or small, and using images of nature – from framed art prints to a feature wall print – you can create a welcoming, relaxing space.

This simple change can greatly enhance your overall well-being and enjoyment of the space, making it a more pleasant place to be.