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Biophilic Design Principles, Elements and Concepts

Humans have developed adaptive responses to the natural world. The human body, mind, and senses evolved in a bio-centric world and humans have an inherent inclination to affiliate with nature. This is what biophilia is all about. Biophilic design creates an atmosphere that connects humans to nature – the ultimate goal of which is to create a modern built environment that is healthy, inspirational, and restorative. 

One of the most important principles of biophilic design is ensuring repeated and sustained engagement with nature. Biophilic installations should create a cohesive, interconnected environment throughout the entire space, much like real nature. Isolated usage of unrelated greenery breaks the feeling of immersion and lacks the beneficial power of true biophilic space. 

A successful example of biophilic interior design is one that portrays a love for its surroundings. This principle emphasizes the opportunity to develop a relationship between humans and their environment. It focuses on promoting positive interactions between people and nature as well as a sense of responsibility and belonging.  A primary goal of biophilic design is to rekindle the relationship that existed between humans and nature long ago, and incorporating the surrounding world accomplishes that.. 

The biophilic design framework consists of three experiences: Direct experience of nature, indirect experience of nature, and the experience of space and place. Direct experience of nature refers to actual contact of nature in the built environment. This can be introduced in the form of natural light, air, plants, water features, landscapes, etc. Contact with nature, living systems, and natural processes not only captures attention but can also be stimulating and calming. 

Indirect experience of nature refers to the image of nature, living systems, and natural processes. This element can be incorporated into a built environment by including pictures, artwork, natural materials, ornamentation, decoration occurring in nature, or environmental processes that have been involved in human evolution. 

Research of biophilic design has shown links between biophilic environment, and improvements to human cognitive function and psychological wellness. Combining the experiences of direct, indirect, and spatial exposure to nature is the best way to increase the likelihood and potency of these beneficial effects.