What is Biophilia?
Biophilia (meaning love of nature) is the concept of our innate attraction to nature and natural processes and is the philosophy behind everything we do at Meristem Design. We have often designed our environments in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature. Biophilic Design is a way of creating places where we live, work, and learn that better connect us with nature.
What is Biophilic DESIgn?
Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn that better connect us with nature, with numerous benefits to our health and well-being.
A recent study by Humanspaces called ‘The Global Impact of Biophilic Design’ looked at 7600 environments over 16 countries with Biophilic elements.
Why is it important?
55% of employees do not have access to any greenery. A new study into ‘presenteeism’ – the tendency of employees to report to work, but be less focused due to low well-being or disengagement with their role – presents employers with an imperative to consider biophilic design as an option which can boost well-being and provide areas in the workspace for respite and renewal. Global figures to estimate its cost to employers do not yet exist, but figures from the UK suggest the scale of the issue, costing businesses £1 billion a year according to the significant Foresight study into mental capital and well-being.
With a decreasing connection to nature and both an increasing pressure on urban spaces and use of technology we have less opportunity to recuperate our mental and physical energy. Introducing elements of nature into the urban environment have been demonstrated, through research, to reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity, creativity and well-being.
Businesses like Google, Apple and Amazon have heavily invested in Biophilic Design in order to improve their employees engagement, concentration and productivity, while creating an environment where people like to work.
- Office design: productivity can be increased by 8%, rates of well-being up by 13%, increases in creativity, with reduced absenteeism and presenteeism
- Hospitality design: Guests willing to pay 23% more for rooms with views of Biophilic elements
- Education spaces: increased rates of learning 20-25%, improved test results, concentration levels and attendance, reduced impacts of ADHD
- Healthcare spaces: post-operative recovery times decreased by 8.5%, reduced pain medication by 22%
- Retail: the presence of vegetation & landscaping has been found to increase average rental rates on retail spaces with customers indicating they were willing to pay 8-12 % more for goods and services.
- Homes: can become more calming & restorative, with 7-8 % less crime attributed to areas with access to nature and can command an increase of 4-5% in property price.
FOREVER BETA'S GREEN OFFICES
Take a look at the photo's from our recent install at East London based, Forever Beta's new office space. We think our planting scheme has really made this space sing!
Our brief was to 'green-up' Forever Beta's new office space and add some tactility. The blank canvas of a pared back, industrial warehouse with exposed services was a great start. Our key planting elements complement the industrial style in their metal simple forms. We also added a nod to Forever Beta's signature red logo in the use of red rope for hanging planters. Our design is made up by 4 key planting elements.
Photo Credit: Stoica Office Interiors
The Shard's Green Oasis Room
The brief was to design a ‘garden room’ as an escape from the rest of the office. The room occupies an amazing location overlooking the Thames, from the 12th floor of the iconic Shard building at London Bridge.
We designed a bespoke trellis system for the back wall, and the ceiling of the room. Artificial plants trail from above, meaning no irrigation was needed. Living Ivy plants, and Jasmine trailed up the back wall trellis helping to create a subtle screening on the glass partitioning. Cracked fiber optic lighting adds to the ethereal effect of the overhanging greenery.
The install was completed by Woodall's design and build, and the design by Meristem.
Photo Credit: Woodalls Design & Build