Biophilia refers to the innate affinity of human beings with the natural world and thankfully more and more businesses are recognizing the value of implementing biophilic design in their offices.
What does incorporating biophilia in office design look like in practice?
Ten years ago this might have involved simply using plants to soften harsh aesthetics in offices more concerned with cost and perceived practicality.
More recently we’re seeing an uptake in modern offices using natural materials like wood, designs that maximize natural light and impressive features such as waterfalls and living walls. It would be impossible to not find plants within the explosion of contemporary co-working spaces.
Some of our favorite examples of biophilic design include Amazon’s Spheres building in Seattle, which houses some 40,000 plants. In London, British Land is putting biophilia front and center. Their soon-to-open building, 100 Liverpool St, included a biophilia plan in its design, which has become twenty square feet of outdoor landscaped terraces to bring people together and support bees, butterflies, and birds.
New attitudes to homeworking mean we need to rethink our offices. Many of us don’t need to be there every day (and don’t plan to be: nine out of ten workers say they’d like to continue to work from home in some form). This means our offices should offer something more than a desk to work at: they should be centers of innovation and engagement, supporting collaboration and providing opportunities to interact with our colleagues in new and inspiring ways.
Office design is essential to achieving a space that does all of these things, so as many businesses are already asking, what’s next? We think it’s about making biophilic design features as engaging as possible and aligning them with ESG and people strategies.
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