Biophilic Design in the Workplace
Written by: Hana Stay (Designer at Yellow 6 Design)
Majority of human occupancy on earth has occurred in the natural environment, we evolved in response to and alongside nature. It is only in last couple of centuries that industrialization has seen the rise of built structures and a moving away from being in, and living in the environment. Biophilia states that humans have an innate, biological need to connect with nature and other forms of life. So essential to our health, well-being and happiness is connection to the natural environment, and when we spend most of our time in built structures such as offices, malls and schools it is easy to justify the need for the natural environment to be brought into the workplace.
Biophilic design is said to promote happiness and productivity in the workplace. To incorporate biophilic design into an office requires more than a simple green wall in the office or a few plants around the place–it is about a sustained engagement with nature. Natural materials, natural lighting and airflow, water, plants bring direct experiences with nature. Architecture office Studio 102, in Hanoi converted an incomplete house into an office for a landscape architecture firm (image below). Plants are integrated into the buildings cladding and interior spaces where they become an essential element of the space and not a feature placed into the space. The result is an office that brings nature and people together creating a more productive environment.