Have you ever wondered why the sound of rain splatter or the view of gentle rain showers appeals to us and has a soothing, relaxing effect? You might say it’s because nature has a tranquil effect on everyone and makes us feel at peace. Yes, that is true, but do you know why? It is because humans have an inherent connection with nature and it provides positive benefits for both mind and body.
We, humans, possess an innate tendency to connect with nature. This is known as Biophilia. In ancient Greek, bio means “life” and philia translates to “the love of”. Defined as “the love of living things and the living world”, Biophilia was used by German-born American psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness (1973), who described it as “the passionate love of life and of all that is alive.”
Biophilic interior designs are based on this human connection with nature, integrating natural elements, materials, and life forms into architecture. People have always preferred spaces with great outdoor views. Biophilic designs take it one step further to bring the outdoors in. It takes our bond with natural surroundings and works to apply it to our living spaces, resulting in measurable physical and psychological benefits.
Biophilic interior designs are not just visually appealing and soothing, but evidence shows that such spaces have the power to heal and create a sense of happiness and well-being. Far from being a luxury, biophilic designs have been termed a “birthright” of human beings by the author of “Biophilic Design”, Stephen Kellert. An increasing number of homeowners and commercial designers are infusing their space with natural elements like indoor plants, trees, and landscapes to reap the physical and mental benefits of these biophilic environments.
Just like biophilia, many believe that humans also have a natural connection to art. Humans appreciate art. We create art, we like seeing it, and we like hearing it. We like experiencing its cultural implications. There are theories that humans may be biologically predisposed to appreciate art. When we examine the artwork, it triggers brain activity that affects our senses, thoughts, and emotions. Humans seem to have a connection with art that organically triggers certain feelings and interpretations.
When you embrace biophilia and art in interior design, the surroundings are so much more enjoyable. Biophilia and art influences in interior designs help architects and designers create a space that caters to the physical, mental, and emotional needs of people. Modern-day spaces are increasingly inspired by biophilia and art as a holistic approach to design.
Consider this – Would a patient in a hospital bed recover quickly in a closed space with nothing on the four walls around him or would he heal better in a room with lush greenery, great outdoor views, and a beautiful piece of art hanging on the walls? Take the case of office spaces, it has been proven that green indoor spaces promote productivity by creating a low-stress, inspiring environment. Even small children start scribbling natural pictures and landscapes with bright colors over other artwork alternatives. That just goes to show how our inclination towards biophilia and art is inherent.
The whole idea behind biophilic and artistic interior design is to apply natural principles to design to improve the health and well-being of everyone in the process. Especially figurative art and natural imagery, which triggers a strong reaction that is comparable to the one we have with nature. People can establish a connection to the natural world through figurative art and natural imagery. When we combine that art with biophilic design, we can create spaces that heal and inspire.
The growing influence of biophilia and art is evident in modern-day spaces. Such spaces are proven to reduce stress, enhance creativity, provide inspiration, and create a sense of happiness, thus improving our well-being. Indoor spaces with green walls, green roofs, potted plants, and indoor landscapes lead the way in modern commercial spaces. These elements provide a direct connection with nature, whereas textiles and artwork can provide the symbolic representation of the colors, texture, pattern, shapes, and other things that are found in nature.
Biophilic and art-inspired interior designs are growing in popularity due to humans’ inherent connection to nature. Biophilia and art help create a space where everyone loves spending their time, while they reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of these biophilic environments. These spaces reflect our cultural values and help in preserving qualities seen both in early human life and in modern-day. It's more than just introducing greenery indoors and creating art. It is the journey that chronicles our lives and experiences, from the past to the present.