There's been a growing popularity (and we think necessity) of making the spaces we live in more in sync with the natural environment. From using environmentally friendly materials, to decreasing our carbon footprint and making attempts to consume less, it's time to embrace a more Biophilic approach to our homes, workplaces and public spaces.
The word Biophilia is said to have been originally used By Erich Fromm in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973), which described biophilia as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.” (source) It became a more popularized term when biologist Edward O. Wilson discussed it in his work Biophilia (1984) and described it as the “innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes.” (source)
It's important to have an emotional attachment to spaces we dwell in, and the spaces we spend time in should give us sense of well being. Creating an environment with biophilic design in mind contributes to mental and physical health.
You can find examples of biophilic on grand scales such as the stunning Gardens by the Bay in Singapore pictured below.
Increasingly, workplaces are finding benefits of taking a biophilic approach to the design of their offices including less absenteeism, healthier, happier and more productive employees. Not only does this design method make offices and public spaces more aesthetically pleasing but the cost benefits are showing to be worth the investment on so many levels.
Biophilic Design does not just have to be for large public spaces or to improve financial aspects of businesses however. It is something we can strive to incorporate into our home environments as well to increase personal well being and happiness. In order to add more earth focused elements to you home consider adding direct and indirect elements.
Examples of direct elements include having plant walls, indoor gardens, interior garden spaces, water fountains or other features, aquariums, lighting from the outside (skylights, conservatory rooms, bay windows, window gardens). The idea is to include access to water, air, light, plants and animals when possible.
Even if you don't have the money to make major structural changes in your home sometimes something as simple as adding a small tabletop fountain or adding a few plants with some good plant lighting can still make an impact. Attempt to have a variety of natural textures including wood, stone and plant based materials like wicker or rattan.
Indirect elements are another way to bring the design concept into your home. Add things such as photographs of nature, natural elements, natural colors and earth tones, natural materials, plant lights and simulated sunlight and use biomimicry to bring in objects and items that are modeled on biology. At the Valerie Tyler Collection we have an entire photography series based on biophilic elements such as photos that look like you are looking right out a window into the natural world, wildlife images, and lots of plant prints. The vintage in the collection is also largely inspired by natural themes as well as often incorporates a variety of natural materials and textures and even actual natural specimens.
You can gradually add elements of biophilic design to your home as time and budget allows. Then you can enjoy the numerous health and environmental benefits to this style of design.
The photos below are some examples of biophilic and nature inspired design to inspire you that include both indirect and direct elements.
Staging by Valerie Tyler featuring biophilic inspired photo prints from
Wall art from the Valerie Tyler Collection Wildlife Series and Tropical Series
"Bring the Outdoors Inside" print from the Valerie Tyler Collection
Interior Staging by Valerie Tyler featuring the Pathways Print
Plants combined with vintage from the Valerie Tyler Collection