Many studies conducted in the recent past have tried to establish an empirical relationship between nature and human health. But, how accurate are these studies and results? We’ll try to analyse these findings in this article. We’ll also see why top designers are merging the concept of biophilia with their designs.
What research has to say about the impact of plants on human health and well-being?
Older generations have always believed that nature has therapeutic effects. That is why physical contact with nature has traditionally been encouraged. But, is there a scientific basis to this belief?
In the 1980s, Edward O Wilson, an American biologist, published his findings on biophilia, a concept that suggests that human beings have a natural tendency to affiliate with other life forms and the natural environment. While formulating the theory, he said that the human tendency to stay close to nature, actually has a genetic basis. Although this finding didn’t go unchallenged, it was the first real attempt to establish a scientific basis to claims that nature had a positive impact on human life.
In 1984, Roger Ulrich, through his pioneering work, came to the conclusion that post-surgical patients who had a visual contact with green leaves and nature, recuperated faster and developed less post-surgical complications. Another study conducted in 2001 showed that since human beings spent close to nine-tenths of their time inside a building every day, it was important for the living spaces and the surrounding areas to mimic the outdoors.
In fact, modern research shows that when living spaces imitate the natural world, it can have a positive impact on the mental and physical health of people.
With top designers revisiting their earlier definition of good home design, biophilia has caught the fancy of many. We’ll find out exactly why in the next section.
What is biophilic design and how is it improving the quality of lives?
The proponents of biophilia say that people have an intrinsic need to connect with Mother Nature. When detached from nature, their physical and mental well-being is greatly compromised. Biophilic design offers a solution to this problem. By integrating greenery and other natural elements into the habitable spaces, these designs try to evoke a strong sense of warmth and happiness in people.
Many researchers have noted that with increased urbanisation, there is a need to adopt biophilic design, not just in work spaces but also in living spaces. According to some online sources, research has shown that biophilia not only improves health but it also improves focus, creativity, and mental acuity.
Take Total Environment homes for example. This Bangalore-based developer ensures that all their homes come with a private garden, irrespective of whether the home is on the ground floor or the 20th floor. Occupants of these homes have often said that they have experienced a distinct qualitative improvement of their lives. The living spaces are designed in a manner that ensures that visual contact with the green elements outside can be maintained at all times. These gardens not only add aesthetic to the buildings but also improve the quality of air. Natural light also pours in through large French windows and doors. This creates a complete simulation of the natural environment within the four walls of a Total Environment apartment.
Biophilic designs go beyond simple decorative or aesthetic considerations
Biophilic designs have far wider implications than simple decorative goals. They aim to reconnect residents of a home with the natural spaces outside. Advocates of this concept say that nature and modern technologies needn’t be mutually exclusive. In fact, they believe that the two can be interwoven to create an inspired living experience.
While indoor plants or attached gardens can be the most obvious biophilic feature that a home can have, other elements like natural light, ventilation, and natural sounds like chirping of birds are some of the other elements that are necessary to create a perfect experience.
If you’re looking for that experience, drop in to the prototype home at Total Environment In That Quiet Earth today. The sheer scale at which this concept has been adopted is something which you would surely admire. Alternatively, you may consider other Total Environment projects in Bangalore. Bio-mimicry and biophilic designs remain intact across all Total Environment houses.