It might be an unfamiliar scientific word, but if you’ve recently moved into a new office or joined an organisation that boasts a contemporary fitout, biophilia should have made a meaningful contribution to the ideas, philosophies and aesthetics underpinning the final design.
Biophilia is best explained, literally, as meaning a love of nature or a love of life or living systems. In the early 1980s, American biologist Edward Osborne Wilson created a philosophy and resulting book called The Biophilia Hypothesis, an ingrained affinity between humans and our natural world. Many of the world’s leading universities have also conducted numerous studies into biophilia but, as studies have moved into the biological including psychology, we’ve learnt more about how it can impact workplace productivity and satisfaction.
In a report by Interface Design, Human Spaces Report: Biophilic Design in the Workplace, psychologist Sir Cary Cooper explains the relationship between workplace design and biophilia as “an innovative way to harness this affinity in order to create natural environments for us to live, work and learn [in]. By consciously including nature in interior or architectural design, we are unconsciously reconnecting; bringing the great outdoors in to our constructed world.”
In layperson’s terms, workplaces incorporating natural plant life are likely to be happier, more productive workplaces.“Workplaces incorporating natural plant life are likely to be happier, more productive workplaces.”