In an increasingly digital and fast-paced world, children often find it challenging to focus and maintain their attention for extended periods. As parents and educators search for effective strategies to promote better concentration, one approach gaining traction is the incorporation of biophilic design in learning environments.
Biophilic design is rooted in the idea that humans have an inherent affinity for nature. The design approach aims to reconnect individuals with the natural world in built environments, by incorporating elements such as plants, water features, natural materials, and patterns found in nature.
Elements of Biophilic Design Increase Visual Attention in Preschoolers
In this recent study, researchers wanted to understand how biophilic design, which incorporates elements of nature into indoor spaces, affects the attention span of young children.
How the study was carried out
The experiment was conducted with children aged between 4 and 5 and compared two conditions: a high-biophilic-design condition with indoor plants on their desks and a low-biophilic-design condition with no plants on their desks. 29 children were enrolled in the study with 14 assigned to the low biophilic condition and 15 in the high biophilic condition.
During the experiment, the children were shown a series of abstract images on a computer screen, and their visual attention was measured using an eye tracker. The researchers focused on the duration of the children’s first fixations, which is the length of time they initially focused on the images.
The results of the study showed that the children in the high-biophilic-design condition had significantly longer first fixations compared to those in the low-biophilic-design condition. There was also a increase in total looking time recorded, demonstrating again that the presence of plants in the indoor environment increased the children’s visual attention.
The researchers suggested that the longer first-fixation duration indicates a higher level of engagement and focus on the images. They also highlighted the potential of biophilic design to enhance learning in preschool children, as the first fixation plays a crucial role in the learning process.
Overall, the study provides evidence that incorporating elements of nature, such as indoor plants, into indoor spaces can positively impact young children’s attention span. This finding supports the idea that biophilic design can contribute to creating environments that promote well-being and cognitive development in children.
With the constant bombardment of information, notifications, and instant gratification at their fingertips, children are often faced with numerous distractions that make it challenging for them to sustain focus and concentrate on tasks. The rise of social media, video games, and other digital entertainment platforms has significantly contributed to this phenomenon, supplying immediate and constantly changing stimuli that can be addictive and demanding of attention.
Biophilic design offers a promising solution to enhance children’s attention span and cognitive abilities. These dynamic spaces foster creativity, exploration, and self-directed learning, all of which contribute to improved attention span and academic performance.
Educators, designers, and parents have a unique opportunity to leverage the benefits of biophilic design to create environments that support children’s well-being and academic success. Through these innovative design strategies, we can nurture children’s attention spans and pave the way for a brighter future.
If you’re interested in integrating biophilic design in your educational setting, please feel free to get in touch with us for assistance and guidance.
Source of study: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-5309/13/5/1160
Nordik Moss wraps around the dining area of Winchburgh Academy