Using Biophilia to Design a Better Learning Environment
Biophilia is the innate connection between human and nature. Biophilic design integrates nature and natural elements, materials and forms into architecture and interiors. As an example, St. White’s Primary School in England found inspiration in their surrounding landscape and wanted to create a nature-infused space to reconnect their students with the outdoors. Their new building combined outdoor play areas and forest views with nature-inspired fixtures and fittings because we feel better in nature, have an intuitive attraction to nature, and we all have a biological need for contact with the natural world. But even more than this, our physical and mental well-being depends on our continued engagement with the natural environment. It affects our personal well-being, productivity, and even relationships with others.
Theresa Cross, Headteacher at St. White’s Primary School, said, “Our new school building looks amazing and we can’t believe how lucky we are. It wouldn’t have been possible without the gifted land, which has allowed us to develop an environment that will be a joy to work and learn in. We’ve balanced indoor and outdoor workspaces and play areas, and the design has completely transformed the school. By including floor to ceiling windows and skylights throughout the school, we’ve also been able to flood the space with natural light and maximize the opportunities for children to see directly out onto nature. Inside the building, natural wood and stone materials are used throughout, complemented by colors and textures that mimic the natural world.”
Research has demonstrated that there are significant benefits to incorporating nature-inspired design techniques in interior spaces. Natural elements can significantly boost levels of well-being and productivity. In the educational environment specifically, research shows that increased contact with nature can dramatically boost attention span, approve concentration, and exposure to daylight increases the speed of learning by over 20%.
A Nature-inspired Approach
The proof of our connection to nature is easy to see. Imagine a place where you are calm and relaxed. More than 90% of us would imagine ourselves somewhere in nature. And, if you have ever felt lethargic, even depressed, being in a drab, lifeless, window-less room with artificial light, you can understand just how important biophilic design is. Research continues to demonstrate that the ability to directly access nature can alleviate stress, promote better concentration, and increase mental stamina and productivity. Even looking at nature scenes in pictures can lift our spirits. Biophilic design, therefore, isn’t just another design style to improve the look of your interior. It is essential for your happiness and well-being.
Since the age of the industrial revolution, there has been a shift away from the natural world and toward urban living to keep up with the burgeoning population. Up until that time, our lives were intrinsically integrated with nature. Many architects and designers are aware that there is a connection between some of our urban problems and the utilitarian design of many modern buildings and environments. This led to the creation of biophilic design. Biophilic design integrates nature, natural elements, materials, and forms into architecture and interior design. This is not just a temporary trend. It is a practice that will become more and more vital in the future of design. It has become one of the guiding principles of the 21st century’s response to urban pollution and climate change.
Andromeda District’s green living vertical garden walls, if enough of them are installed, can decrease the toxins in the air for entire city blocks when there is no space to plant acres of trees. They are a cost-effective, visually mesmerizing, organic way of making your life, and the life of every living organism, longer and healthier.
Contact Andromeda District today for a free consultation.