While we are all very different, with different tastes, styles and personalities, scientists agree that all of us are hard-wired to love the natural world.
Interface has just launched a social website and digital campaign called Interface Reconnect to encourage interest, thinking and conversation for designing with this affinity for nature in mind, or biophilic design.
Biophilic design incorporates natural elements into man-made environments in order to help people feel better and perform better.
Interface Reconnect is intended to foster dialogue, spark ideas and pique global interest to advance biophilic design for working, playing and living – both “inside” built environments and “outside” in cities. For instance, evidence of biophilic design can be seen in New York’s acclaimed High Line linear park built on an historic elevated freight rail line; from the growing popularity of community gardens throughout Sydney; and through the ecological approach to building design showcased in Singapore’s Solaris high-rise project.
Research has shown benefits such as productivity, emotional well-being, stress reduction, learning, healing and environmental protection resulting from biophilic design and humankind’s innate psychological and physiological connections with the natural world.
“Today, as we are increasingly cut off from nature, there is evidence that re-connecting with the natural world can provide benefits like restoring our mental and physical well being. Biophilic design is ‘purpose driven’ design that recognizes humanity’s strong link with the natural world, which can be utilized for good – being restorative,” said Sally Orme from Interface.
As a recognised leader in purpose-driven design and innovation, Interface is urging architects, designers, manufacturers, academics and students to contribute ideas, case studies and best practices to the online site. Immediately, visitors are encouraged to submit their own biophilic examples and comment and converse on existing content.
In early 2013, Interface will launch a global competition to award the most unique and stylish ways of reconnecting internal and external spaces with nature. Through this competition, designers will have an opportunity to bring their biophilic visions to life and help advance biophilic design.
A recent global study on biophilic design conducted by Terrapin Bright Green, a leader in environmental consulting and strategic planning, revealed that more than $93 million could be saved annually in healthcare costs as a result of providing hospital patients with natural vistas. Studies have also demonstrated that when injected into the design of corporate, educational, healthcare and retail settings, introducing natural elements can provide benefits in terms of healthier patients, as well as more productive workers and higher-performing students.
Interface’s passion and commitment to innovation has been inspired by the concept of biophilic design. A new global product line known as Urban RetreatTM, for example, evokes the quiet and sanctuary of an old-growth forest floor and integrates other natural elements into the collection, while made from 79 to 81 percent recycled content. The collection reflects a worldview that includes nature as an appreciated source and explores the intersection of natural and man-made materials.
We recognise that biophilic design may drive health and wellbeing, economic and environmental benefits. Our hope is that Interface Reconnect shares compelling examples of leading-edge biophilic design and stimulates conversation on the topic. We appreciate the global emergence of this exciting area and how the broader design community and communities at large stand to benefit through its development.
Visit http://www.interfacereconnect.com to submit ideas and work or join the conversation about biophilic design. To learn more about Interface design and sustainability principles and product innovations visit http://www.interface.com.