We currently live in a highly urbanized world. With the advent of smartphones and social media, the amount of time we spend on our digital devices has been growing. A 2018 Nielsen study revealed that American adults spend over 11 hours a day on their smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices. This was up from nine hours and 32 minutes recorded in 2014.
As modern technologies come our way, we begin to isolate ourselves more from nature. With this, several design professionals are advocating the idea of incorporating nature into homes and office spaces. This is popularly known as biophilic design.
What Is Biophilic Design?
The term “biophilia” was coined in the 1980s by Edward Osborne Wilson, an American biologist who believed that contact with nature was essential for human well-being. The term comes from the Greek word “bio,” which means “life,” and “philia,” which means “love.” In architecture, biophilic design aims to re-establish links with nature by incorporating natural elements of earth, water, fire, and air into homes and workspaces.
What Are the Benefits of Embracing Biophilic Design?
Several studies have shown that having biophilic spaces improves the mental health and productivity of individuals. Psychologists say that biophilic design increases the well-being of workers, as well as their productivity and creativity levels. Another study conducted by Oliver Health showed that incorporating biophilia into human spaces helps reduce stress and boost energy among people.
Such benefits have encouraged more people to incorporate biophilic design into their homes, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current health crisis has left people feeling more stressed and anxious than ever, which can incur detrimental effects on our well-being in the long run.
How Do You Incorporate Biophilic Design into Your Home?
Social distancing has forced us to isolate ourselves at home. Fortunately, embracing biophilic design has never been easier. Here are some simple ways that you can incorporate biophilia into your humble abode:
Let the fresh air come in.
Open your windows widely and let the fresh air circulate through your house freely. You can also tie up your curtains to avoid airflow obstruction. Experts argue that breathing in some fresh air and listening to the sound of nature can boost your immune system and improve your mood.
Expose your home to natural daylight.
Try maximizing natural light into your home by keeping the windows and doors open. Get rid of any piece of furniture, curtains, or anything that could block sunlight from coming your way. Not only do you save up on utility bills by allowing natural daylight in, but you can also improve your overall health.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, can help regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body. This aids in stabilizing your blood pressure and keeping your muscles and bones strong. Natural light also increases the secretion of endorphins and serotonin in your body, making you feel more positive, relaxed, and energized.
Add a piece of art that symbolizes nature.
Accentuate your living room by hanging up landscape paintings or photographs that represent the elements of nature. If you’re into painting, you can use your wall as a canvass for your next mural project. You can also cover it with print wallpaper mimicking the colors of nature.
Use natural materials for your furnishings.
If you’re planning to renovate your house soon, consider incorporating natural materials such as bamboo, stone, timber, and rattan into your design. These materials are perfect for home furnishings such as the couch, dining tables, kitchen cabinets, countertops, floors, among others.
Just make sure to choose sustainable materials as well as invest in the proper tools for long-term maintenance.
Include indoor plants or anything that recreates the sound of water.
Indoor plants can instantly make any room more vibrant. Not only do they accentuate your home decor, but they also have many health and environmental benefits.
Plants can absorb harmful gases in your home, filtering and cleaning the air you breathe indoors. Taking care of them can also help you relieve stress and anxiety. Experts found that touching the leaves of plants for two minutes can reduce stress levels, helping you relax and get better sleep.
Aside from plants, you may also want to consider adding a small indoor fountain or anything that mimics the sound or even just the visuals of moving water. Scientists say that seeing or hearing the sound of moving water triggers a flood of neurochemicals into our bodies. They increase blood flow to the brain and heart, inducing a sense of relaxation.
Having a busy life dominated by technology can hinder us from spending more time outdoors. However, you don’t need to go out to reconnect with nature. Embracing biophilic design into your home can help you re-establish that connection, which can even have positive effects on your well-being in the long run.