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Biomorphic Design

Derived from Greek words Bioic (life, living) and μορφή (form), Biomorphism refers to designing shape and forms that are inspired from nature. Biomorphic shapes, forms, and patterns are one of the components of biophilic design and symbolically refer to contours, patterns, textures, or numerical arrangements that occur in nature. In fact, we have always embedded natural themes in architecture and the signs can be found even in the earliest human structures. From the ancient temples to the Art Nouveau designs of the late 19th century, from Hotel Tassel in Brussels to the structures of Gare do Oriente in Lisbon, biomorphic forms and patterns have been artistically expressed since centuries now.

Alfred H. Barr, an art historian is credited for the term Biomorphism where he used “biomorphic sculpture” for his 1936 exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art. Biomorphic forms and patterns are known to reduce stress and enhance concentration in the built environment. According to Vessel, while our brain knows that these forms and patterns are not alive, we may describe them as symbolic representations of life. And that is what biomorphic architecture and designs are all about. They provide representational design elements indoors that can help people make connections to nature. They help in creating a more visually preferred environment. 

Implementing biomorphic interior design in built environments can be done by integrating elements or representations of nature in décor as a cosmetic or integral to the form or function of the space. Either way, it will help in enhancing the biophilic experience of the built environment. 

For décor, one way of introducing biomorphic patterns and forms is through introducing rugs, wallpaper, fabrics, etc based on the Fibonacci series or Golden Mean. Fibonacci series (a numeric sequence) occurs in many living things, especially plants whereas Golden Mean is a ratio that is found in living forms that grow and unfold in steps or rotations. You could also use elements inspired by trees, wings, seashells, etc for decoration, install freestanding sculptures, woodwork, masonry, wall decal, and more that are representations of nature. 

Introducing columns in your built environment is one way of introducing biomorphic form in your space and using it as a functional design element. Opting for wall and ceiling acoustic paneling, furniture form, railings, fencing, and hallway form are some more examples of representing nature. In order to create a quality biomorphic design, ensure that you don’t overuse forms and patterns. Instead, apply it to different dimensions which will bring greater diversity and exposure frequency. 

Implementing biomorphic design is easy and makes for a highly comfortable and captivating setting. Such interior designs are incredibly interesting, contemplative, and enhances cognitive performance while helping reduce stress.