Biophilic Designs: Bringing Nature to Home

Author: Gaurav Sawhney

By Gaurav Sawhney, President, Sales and Marketing, Piramal Realty

Modernization has changed our relationship with nature and has made it more difficult for humans to connect with it as frequently as they would like to. As per reports by UN, around 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas today, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. This set of population is rapidly adapting to the urban lifestyle thinking it’ll make life in a hectic and chaotic city easier! However, it is important for them to understand that this lifestyle is taking a toll on their health and well-being.

Adding to that, there are also studies which suggest that people spend approximately 90 per cent of their time indoors, so the built environment where they work and live has an impact on their well-being: on how they feel, eat and even sleep at night. American biologist Edward O Wilson popularized the term biophilia in the 1980’s, when he observed how increasing rate of urbanization was leading to a disconnect with the natural world. The concept of biophilia suggests that we all have a genetic connection to the natural world built up through hundreds of thousands of years of living in agrarian settings. 

It has been documented by multiple studies that people who are more connected with nature are happier, feel more vital, and have more meaning in their lives. Upon understanding this need, modern day developers and architects have started integrating elements of biophilic design and made it the new normal for the many residential and commercial projects. This innovative way of designing integrates natural elements of light, colors, aesthetics and ventilation in the place of work and home to create a calming atmosphere that uplifts mind and soul. 

When it comes to Biophilic design, it’s not as simple as adding a few plants here and there. Incorporating nature into your home and office can be done through light, color, materials, patterns, textures, sounds. The use of natural materials like wood, wool and stone connects the interior to nature. Similarly, color and textures within fabrics can be used to add a sense of warmth, familiarity and comfort. Dual aspect floor to ceiling glass windows are becoming very popular to ensure the inflow of fresh air and daylight. 

Below are some themes that designers and developers can look at when focusing on biophilic designs for urban consumers:

  • Reinforcing and Integrating Designs: The designs must be connected, complementary and integrated with the overall setting of the space with natural elements rather than being isolated or transient. 
  • Long-term effect: In order to experience the actual benefit of this principle, the designs must focus on repeated and sustained exposure with natural elements rather than occasional, exceptional or ephemeral experiences

With the right implementation, this concept, can help generate a positive impact on the overall health of people and provide them a solace in the hustle bustle of the city life.

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