Biophilia is a concept that has been around for decades, but few are aware of its meaning. Defined as the love of life, it concerns the innate human desire to interact with nature and our environmental surroundings. These principles are the driving force of biophilic design, which is the incorporation of elements of nature into architecture or interior design.
This is commonly seen throughout history in the form of open-faced layouts of courtyards that included trees overhead, fountains of running water, or gardens overflowing with different plants and flowers. This has been an architectural practice for centuries. There are restorative elements in these design choices that give our eyes and minds a break.
Though some are skeptical on the measurable good these design elements bring, many studies have shown there are quantifiable benefits from these additions. These natural elements make us feel more rested. They lower our stress levels and restore our mental energy. This allows us to be more creative and remain focused. This is particularly true in the academic space as the incorporation of biophilic design in classrooms has proven to have a positive effect on students’ academic performance.
It’s no shock that students spend a majority of their educational careers in dedicated classrooms, so why shouldn’t more school districts and universities invest in spaces that allow their students to excel? It is understandable that large structural changes to old standing buildings can be troublesome, but there are other ways to incorporate these design elements into the classroom that can be rather simple.
Some of these include the addition of direct light or plants into the classroom. Fleshing out a window that provides natural lighting to the room for example. Another example is the use of natural materials such as wood in the desks provided for students. Color palettes in classrooms are particularly important as well. Blues, yellows, and greens are colors that invoke nature and serve to have a positive effect on students.
For more information on how to incorporate these design principles into the classroom, check out Biophilic Design in Education, provided by International Woodworking Fair. This will detail plenty more interior design choices that have shown to have a positive effect on the learning environment of students.