The term “biophilic design” has been buzzing around contract (office) furniture circles for some time and was a recurring theme at our recent industry trade show, NEOCON, held in Chicago. What is biophilic design and how does it impact you? In short, biophilic design allows building occupants to more closely connect with nature. This can be done directly, by going outside; indirectly, by viewing nature; and by altering space and place conditions.
Let’s say you work in a ground floor office with easy access to the outside. Or your office has a patio. Better yet, your workplace is situated near a park where you can take a walk and eat your lunch. Taking a break in nature is an ideal way to recharge your batteries. What if you’re on a higher floor and there’s no patio or deck? Workstations and collaborative spaces positioned near windows with views of the outside can still be restorative. You can also re-create the evocative feelings of nature with indoor plantings, either real or preserved, and visual enhancements like artwork and wall murals.
Remember the forest murals many dentists used in their operatories to relax their patients? These have grown up quite a bit. Our cover photo from Murals Your Way is a perfect example. Choose from scores of standard images or let us help customize one for you.
If your office does have outside space, you need furniture that’s weather-resistant and user friendly. It doesn’t hurt that the furniture also comes in fun shapes and lots of cool colors! Tonik blends American-made ingenuity with a unique “rotational molding” manufacturing process to make its UV-resistant planters, benches and tables in 21 delectable colors.
If your workplace favors a more conservative design, the Sierra by Via Seating is offered in five powder-coated, galvanized steel colors (custom colors available too) on benches available with or without backs. The benches are designed to be bolted to the ground and are manufactured to withstand extreme outdoor conditions such as high heat, humidity, and salt air if you happen to be situated near the ocean.
Let’s say you don’t have outdoor access. Or access is minimal. You can still bring the outside in with these incredible Bio-Canvas panels from Nevins. Made of preserved natural materials - acoustic moss, sustainable poplar bark and light stone - the panels hang in lightweight frames (there are freestanding room dividers too) making the design possibilities endless. Best of all, they’re low maintenance, no water or sunlight needed!
Like what you see? Contact us to help enhance your office using biophilic design.