“Bringing nature indoors” has arguably become the slogan for biophilia, the hypothesis that takes on an evolutionary perspective in arguing that humans have an intrinsic need and desire to connect with nature.
Biophilia was popularised by Edward O. Wilson's 1984 book of the same name and is further supported by Attention Restoration Theory, which asserts that nature has an “aesthetic advantage” because it requires effortless attention when compared to other fatiguing stimuli that people encounter every day.
The principles of biophilia are applicable across all types of interior design, whether in healthcare, learning spaces, or fitness facilities. And considering that full-time employees in the United Kingdom spend an approximate 1532 hours in office settings each year, the workplace is one area where it would be especially tactical to consider the integration of nature-inspired design features.
Its benefits in modern office design might include the following results and cognitive, physiological, and psychological responses:
- Increased well-being
- Reduced stress
- Increased productivity
- Increased collaboration
- Improved ability to multi-task
- Improved working memory
Numerous empirical studies have emerged over the years that have only added credibility to the hypothesis that access to nature and nature-inspired elements in the office results in positive affective reactions, and the newfound popularity of evidence-based design in the workplace combined with human-centric design and restorative environmental design have further catapulted the popularity of biophilia.