Biophilic indoors – Reconnecting with nature

Elements of nature like water, vegetation, natural light, wind, earth and soil, when introduced to the interiors, provide an intricate depth to the built environment. The interior landscape engages the sense and establishes a relationship of well-being, putting the occupant at ease. 

Purpose

Say a person imagines a space where they are the most comfortable; their imagination will always include nature. Biophilia is the essential source of emotional comfort. The more people are moving towards urbanisation, the more they are losing touch with nature. Integrating nature with the interiors rebuilds that connection.

Using indoors plants as part of the design and not just for aesthetic purposes is also about creating an eco-friendly environment. The combination of hardscaping, soft scaping, botanical forms helps enhance the quality of a space uplifting it to feel like a boon. 

Function

Indoor landscaping adds two aspects of design-

1. Beautification- Colour, shape, texture and fragrance provide natural ornamentation. 

Source- Pinterest

2. Air purification and Micro-climate- The greens adjust the indoor temperature and humidity, which is beneficial to the occupant’s health. The process of absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, in turn, freshen the air quality and rids it of harmful toxins. According to Chen Song’s book 100 kinds of healthy indoor plants, the vegetative cover drops 8.2°C from the outer surface temperature. 

Ways to incorporate in the design

  • The simplest form of design is potted indoor plants; an advantage of the pots is their flexibility. An ideal place for them is near the window where adequate sunlight is present for their nourishment. The context and scale of the plants need consideration. A large plant can be overwhelming to a small space, or a tiny one in a large room appears insignificant. 
  • Decorating the indoor walls with vegetation is quite popular. Wall hung method, where the mesh holds the plants in their place, also includes a water mist irrigation system. Another way of achieving this is placing creeper plants in a groove, which gather the support of the wall setup. 
  • The indoor plants could relate to any plant growing in the surrounding for consistency with the outdoor. 
  • The designer needs to consider the shadow the vegetation casts in the room. The form of the vegetation can change the experience for the user. If the design is centred around creating a feel of the mountains, then a palm tree would seem out of place. 
  • Create a pattern or a sequence with repeated use of a plant type. It reflects the person’s style. For instances, a window sill with a row of succulents creates a simple yet conforming aesthetics. 
  • Floor niches filled with pebbles, stones and grass give a slight garden feel.
  • Water and airflow also play a crucial role in the design. Indoor form of water body along with natural airflow through the building add natural ambience.
  • The biophilic design also includes an indirect connection with nature. A large window overlooking a lush green outside consoles the user. Indirect experiences provide solutions for spaces where vegetation is undesirable.
  • Another way option of an indirect experience is using wood. Wood is an organic and versatile material. It creates connections with the outdoor because of its abundance in types, textures, and colours.

Human perception towards green is biased because of evolution; it corresponds to the need for survival conducive to the comfortable temperate climate and availability of food. Intuitively, the mind associates even a presence of colour green to nature and vegetation, and one finds freshness, health, and tranquillity. Humans incline towards the prosperity of positive moods influenced by the natural surrounding; it is like an innate instinct where greenery receives priority.  

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