Though we might forget where we have left the car keys if our best friend’s birthday is our bodies have not forgotten the sorts of places our ancestors enjoyed in the beginning of our species’ existence on the savannah. All these place-based memories are readily available to us now as we look our homes. As soon as we listen to such whispers in our past we create spaces that we enjoy being in, places that relaxation, relax and sustain us.
Researchers call using the same design principles we enjoyed in our primordial past biophilic design. Biophilic design doesn’t mean literally re-creating that a savannah in a living room, but it does mean considering the experiences our ancestors needed about nice days , long back and copying them.
Research has proven that if humans create spaces that aren’t static, that change over time — whether in the long or short duration — they live better lives. This is the first in a series of ideabooks on biophilic design that will show you the way you can do exactly that.
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC
Envision yourself in a meadow on a lovely spring afternoon. The sky is blue, flecked with cottony white clouds drifting slowly towards the horizon. The world around you varies. Grasses take on a slightly different colour as sunlight shifts, rocks cast shadows here and there as the path of the light hitting them varies, along with a fallen foliage that looked dewy in the morning may be emptied by nightfall.
This gentle movement is a main part of biophilic design. In other words, nature isn’t static, so your home shouldn’t be either. Most home interiors have been made to make movement within the construction invisible or undetectable. It’s time to change that.
Celebrate mild breezes. The sorts of air currents that produce our lives more pleasant are gentle and rhythmic, not the sort of winds that creep across the plains in advance of a thunderstorm. To highlight the gentle breezes that inevitably move through your home, add a cellphone or anything that gently transfers as people stroll by.
The natural, circular forms of this cellphone here make it an excellent way to highlight air ducts, and it is well positioned to catch drafts from the windows or the heating and ac system. The shape also has a calming effect. A cellphone with triangle contours could create subconscious ideas of predator teeth to get a number of us.
Capture the passing of time. These globes bring attention not just to gentle air movement between two doorways, but also into the passing of time during the day.
The glass chunks catch more sun at certain times and also look quite different when various lights have been turned on from the room. They encourage the homeowners’ psychological well-being because they make it clear that neither time, nor the air in the home, is standing yet.
The Mobile Factory
Create shadows. A single space can be experienced in a lot of ways. Peaceful movements change a space. So do different shadows cast by light coming through windows from light fixtures at different times of the day and year, as well as the growth of pure materials used.
Shadows cast by structural and furnishings elements change during the day and make the experience of being in a space different at sunrise, noon and dusk. As soon as we have cues in our physical surroundings that help us keep our circadian rhythms in sync with our location, one source of potential stress is banished.
Create views in your home that are as energetic as the ones in a bucolic spring meadow eons past.
Solomon & Wu
The light hitting the moldings in this room creates radically different effects at various times of the year due to the thickness of the carving. This sort of texture may also be used in different areas of the room, including the fireplace.
aamodt / plumb architects
The curving shadows cast by perforated panels here are comforting not only due to their contours, but because they change during the course of the day and from season to season.
Daryl Toby – AguaFina Gardens International
Interiors can be made to get movement and variability, but so can spaces that are visible through windows in the home, such as this Japanese stone garden.
Jane Kim Design
Embrace substances that will age. The wall surrounding this mirror is copper that has developed a green patina. It indicates the passing of time.
RW Anderson Homes
Leather naturally ages. The leather surfaces on such couches are familiar, and how they change lets us know that this space isn’t locked into one particular moment in time, but rather is evolving together with the lives of the house’s residents.
By reminding ourselves that things aren’t static — grass and leaves, for example, change over time — we’re able to exude that calming biological feeling of being secure on a hot spring day.