Imagine dwelling in a space that seamlessly blends captivating aesthetics with natural elements, all the while enhancing your well-being. Welcome to the world of Biophillic Design.
In an era where our environments have come to play an even greater role in personal wellness, Biophilic Design emerges as an intriguing new frontier. A cursory Google search defines it as “a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions,” and it can be interpreted in various ways.
Inspired by fluid forms found in natural and urban landscapes, our design studio exemplifies this ethos. By using dimensional materials in wallcoverings, rugs, and textiles, we promote wellness and illustrate expressive forms in nature through more abstract shapes and motifs. We see design as no longer being just about aesthetics, rather it’s about fostering connections between our living spaces and the natural world for a holistic sense of well-being. This interplay between our environments and personal wellness is an area that has been gaining attention.
Meet the Minds: Dorothy and Grzegorz
To understand and examine this connection better, I had the privilege of speaking with Dorothy, founder of Dayhouse Studio, and Dayhouse collaborator Grzegorz, founder of OMNI Self-Care, both experts in Biophilic Design - a concept that brings elements of nature into built spaces.
Dorothy is the founder of Dayhouse Studio, a health-focused biophilic interior design company. Her journey into biophillic design began with a personal health scare due to mold exposure. This life-changing experience opened her eyes to the profound impact that environments have on well-being. Dayhouse Studio embodies her passion for creating spaces that not only look good but also nurture the body-mind-soul through a strong connection with nature.
Grzegorz is a biochemist whose insights into the interplay between biology and environment led him to a collaboration with Dayhouse Studio. His scientific background enriches his perspective on Biophilic Design, including the psychological benefits of connecting with nature through design. Dorothy and Grzegorz have published a peer-reviewed article on how biophillic spaces impact chronic health conditions - Healthy Dwelling: Design of Biophilic Interior Environments Fostering Self-Care Practices for People Living with Migraines, Chronic Pain, and Depression. Their latest initiative is called Healthy Dwelling 2030 - “Biophilic Interior Design for Mental and Physical Health: An Awareness Campaign Launched to Prevent Chronic Diseases".
Experiencing Nature through Design: Insights and Examples
In sync with our design studio’s practice, Dorothy recounted the transformation of a Spanish-style home into a Spanish-Modern haven using Biophilic Design. The living room’s large windows framed ancient pine trees and a creek, bathing the space in natural light and serenity. To elevate this, Dorothy replaced the outdated shag carpet with brushed oak chevron floors and enriched the original stone fireplace with thick walnut shelves. She further infused the space with nature-inspired elements, including a carved tree trunk bench and a mix of modern and antique furniture. A quirky cherry-shaped pendant light added an element of surprise, stimulating creativity. The resulting space was not just visually appealing, but also fostered social interaction and a sense of vibrancy and calm through its connection with nature.
When asked how Biophilic Design fit within his framework for personal care and wellness, Grzegorz said, “Biophilic design and personal wellness go hand in hand with respect to health care. Biophilic design offers the immersive and multisensory experience that helps to engage with and maximize outcomes of specific self-care practices.” He went on to paint a picture comparing the use of a stationary bike or other fitness equipment in a room that is “cluttered with ‘stuff’ versus a Biophilic room where physical exercises feel like you are biking in a natural environment surrounded by trees, birds, and wind while enjoying a cheerful scent of beautiful flowers”.
This perspective really helps solidify just how much more engaging and immersive Biophilic elements can make a space. Imagine how the use of natural materials could produce different textures for touch, how natural sounds could be integrated into the space, and how the choice of colors could reflect those found in nature, which have calming effects. For example, incorporating a water feature into a room not only provides the visual element of flowing water but also the soothing sound of it, which can significantly reduce stress and increase relaxation. By designing spaces that appeal to multiple senses, Biophilic Design creates environments that feel much more natural and aligned with human well-being.
Looking Forward: The Future of Biophilic Design
Dorothy and Grzegorz both envision a future where Biophilic Design becomes more prevalent in residential and commercial spaces. “Given the mental health crisis, creating spaces that improve mood and emotional well-being is essential”. The work of our design studio is an illustration of the principles shared by Dorothy and Grzegorz. Through textures, patterns and materials that echo the natural world, our designs are not just aesthetically pleasing but also foster a deeper connection with nature that rejuvenates and inspires.
To architects, designers and individuals passionate about well-being and the environment, we invite you to collaborate with us in this exciting frontier of Biophilic Design. Whether it's transforming living spaces into natural sanctuaries or envisioning new ways to harmonize built environments with nature, we are here to assist in realizing your visions. Apply for a trade account or reach out to us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 718-207-9587.