5 Biophilic Design Hacks to Transform Ordinary Spaces into Extraordinary Places

Being disconnected from nature can drain us mentally, physically, and emotionally. Yet, in our modern world, people spend over 90% of their time indoors, disconnected from the outdoors (Environmental Protection Agency, 2020). This makes embracing biophilic design an imperative.

Biophilic design harnesses our innate human bond with nature to transform spaces into uplifting environments that nurture creativity, wellness, and productivity. Elements like sunlight, plants, and natural materials are woven into the built environment to enhance our satisfaction and performance profoundly.

Here are five ways to infuse biophilic design into your next project:

  1. Flood spaces with natural light. Studies show that abundant natural light boosts mood, focus, and vitamin D absorption by up to 20% (An, Colarelli, O’Brien, & Boyajian, 2016). Strategically placed windows, Solatubes, and reflective surfaces bathe spaces in nourishment.
  2. Incorporate living greenery. The presence of plants has been found to lower heart rate and blood pressure while increasing memory retention up to 20% (Lee et al., 2015). Living walls, zen gardens, and potted plants oxygenate spaces literally and figuratively.
  3. Frame views of nature. Gazing at the outdoors for even 40 seconds sparks positive emotions and broadens creative thinking (Lee et al., 2015). Site lines to gardens, landscapes, and sky highlight nature's majesty.
  4. Use natural materials. Natural materials create a welcoming warmth while fostering connections. Wood, stone, and bamboo add organic textures that invite human touch.
  5. Design multi-functional outdoor areas. Blended indoor-outdoor areas allow movement between environments. Natural seating, walking paths, and green nooks rejuvenate.

Thoughtfully embracing biophilic principles allows us to craft spaces that uplift, inspire, and unlock our highest potential. What could be more vital in today's world? Let's create environments where people thrive.


Environmental Protection Agency (2020). The inside story: A guide to indoor air quality. Retrieved from www.epa.gov/indoor-air-quality-iaq/inside-story-guide-indoor-air-quality

An, M., Colarelli, S. M., O’Brien, K., & Boyajian, M. E. (2016). Why we need more nature at work: Effects of natural elements and sunlight on employee mental health and work attitudes. PloS one, 11(5), e0155614.

Lee, K. E., Williams, K. J., Sargent, L. D., Williams, N. S., & Johnson, K. A. (2015). 40-second green roof views sustain attention: The role of micro-breaks in attention restoration. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 42, 182-189.

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