Research has proved that organisations that don't embrace the concept of Biophilic Design will struggle to get the best out of their staff and could actually be damaging the profitability of their businesses!
What is Biophilic Design?
This term is derived from the word Biophilia which literally means a love of life. It stems from the Greek words for Life (Bios) and Love (Philia).
The word Biophilia was first used by a psychologist called Erich Fromm in 1964. He described it as “the passionate love of life and all that is alive”.
The concept was popularised by Edward O Wilson, an American biologist in 1984 with his book ‘Biophilia’. He defined it as “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life”.
Biophilic Design is about ensuring that our inherent requirement for contact with the natural environment is recognised and incorporated into our built environments. Whilst the term is not new, it has become established in the architecture and design world and is fast becoming recognised by owners and managers of most organisations globally. It is sometimes referred to as "Bringing the outside inside".
"Biophilic Design has become an important concept for blending the benefits of Biophilia with Architectural Best Practice"
Buildings, materials, products and systems have all gone through a lot of change over recent years to make them more environmentally friendly and sustainable. However, whilst this is good for the environment we live in, it does not really take into account the human element. It helps protect the environment but doesn't necessarily bring us into any greater contact with it.
A project that has included this design process will produce a building that is not only "sustainable" and "eco-friendly" but it will also be "people-friendly".
Why should we use it?
The results show that there are huge benefits to be achieved if we include this design process in the creation of our workplaces. And conversely, there are significant negative impacts if we don't!
Some of the key findings from the Human Spaces report: The Global Impact of Biophilic Design (BD) in the Workplace are as follows:
- BD in the workplace has a strong, measurable impact on key employee outcomes such as well-being, productivity and creativity.
- Those who work in environments with natural elements report a 15% higher level of well-being, a 6% higher level of productivity and a 15% higher level of creativity than those who work in environments devoid of nature.
- Those who enter an office space which incorporates nature are more likely to feel happy and motivated for the day ahead.
- Across the world, a third (33%) of all respondents report that the design of an office would affect their decision to work for that organization, presenting BD as an important consideration for those companies that want to attract and recruit the best employees.
- Existing literature suggests that nature contact has a restorative effect on people, helping them deal with day-to-day stress and work to maintain performance.
- Surprisingly large numbers of employees reported having little or no contact with nature in their workplace – 47% report having no natural light and 58% report having no live plants.
- A number of leading organizations are now providing employees with contact with nature. This latest research presents a further call to action for employers to consider the environments they create and continues the discussion of the importance of biophilia within their workplaces.
Image above © Interface, for more information visit www.interface.com
What is the next step?
If you are planning a move to a new office or an office refurbishment, or you would like to improve morale, well-being, productivity or creativity in your staff, then it makes sense to include this design process in your strategy.
There are many resources available to help you or we can arrange for one of our experienced design consultants to call in to discuss your specific requirements if you wish.
Call us now on Freephone 08000 724 723 or contact us here.