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Sometimes, the Grass IS Greener: What are the Benefits of Biophilic Design?

Updated: Jun 22, 2020

As of 2019, finding new and innovative ways of being ‘greener’ has never been more in vogue. Investing in reusable coffee cups, adopting a plant-based diet, banning plastic straws and researching the impact of air pollution; the general public is becoming increasingly aware of the many benefits that are tied to living an eco-friendly lifestyle. So, how does thinking greener relate to aquariums, or related areas of interior design?

Forbes recently published an article detailing the emerging trend of green office design and how this correlates with mental well-being and productivity for employees in their workplaces. Naturally, this caught our attention as the cultivation of an aesthetically pleasing yet also inspiring and multifunctional workplace is something we strive to create through our projects. Like the biophilic design companies such as Lettuce Evolve and Habitat Horticulture mentioned in the piece, ViDERE is inspired by both the artistic quality and scientific benefits of incorporating nature as a medium for design, when creating aquascapes and installations for corporate offices. Greenery, whether it’s in the form of living walls, potted plants or office gardens, can have a profoundly positive impact within the workplace if optimally utilised.

  • For example, having live plants as opposed to artificial ones reduces plastic consumption and creates an increased flow of oxygen due to photosynthesis.

  • Likewise, natural scents from plants, such as lavender or rosemary, have a calming effect and help to reduce stress.

In an increasingly health-conscious society, the issue of clean air within urban areas (where typically most business districts, and therefore offices, reside) is rapidly becoming a matter of concern: yet, something as simple as introducing more green spaces and areas within city centres can help to reduce this issue.

Equally, introducing plants within the workplace is shown to have other health benefits for employees; studies show that plants can help to boost cognitive performance, reduce stress levels, increase creativity and lead to an increased sense of well-being and happiness. Moreover, biophilic design is an innovative field; with multi-functionality at the heart of its ethos. An aquarium or aquascape perfectly embodies this equilibrium of creative architecture, artistic flair and functionality. John Murphy, the founder of Lettuce Evolve, frequently utilises aquariums within his signature vertical garden designs in order to create a self-sufficient, miniature ecosystem:

‘I built an aquarium into the system [of the vertical gardens], which allowed me to have a never-ending supply of natural nutrients delivered to my plants so I wouldn’t have to worry about fertilizing, watering or weeding them. The fish live happily, and the plants filter the water, returning clean water back to the fish.’

In conclusion, what can we take away from these findings? As we approach 2020, it’s clear to see that the green revolution is only just beginning to fully take root and bloom (pun intended!). Equally, the positive correlation between biophilic design elements within office spaces and enhanced team morale are co-factors that more businesses should consider as they expand.

The more businesses invest in their HQ infrastructure and design features, ultimately, the more their employees’ well-being will improve within their workplace which consequently enhances productivity. Finally, one of biophilic design’s main principals is echoed by our company value, ‘Nature is Art’; in a literal sense, plants and fish are colourful and vibrant, but the calmness and tranquillity they offer to humans is equally beautiful. This positive energy is channelled through the movement, colour and vibrancy of the plants and fish creating the experience of calm and tranquillity.

You can read the original Forbes article on the benefits of biophilic design here:

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