bio·phil·ia -Biophilia literally means a ‘love of life or living systems’ and biophilic design is incorporating nature into our built environment and designing restorative places that connect humans to their surroundings. At Crow Works, this sentiment is seen throughout the company and ever present in our products.
Our pieces are made of natural materials that bring the qualities of the outdoors and their restorative effects to your space. Terrapin Bright Green has identified 14 key patterns utilized in biophilic design, and while not every space can be designed to incorporate all the principles of biophilic design, there are many possible easy-to-implement patterns that can enhance your space and the well-being of those within it.
In an increasingly urban world, it is more important than ever to reconnect with the earth, in both how we treat it and how we live in it. There is a growing body of research that supports the health and wellness benefits of biophilic design, and as Americans spend more than 90% of their lives indoors, the use of biophilic design can play a major role in our well-being. In the work place, studies have shown that biophilic design elements increase productivity, increase creativity, and even decrease absenteeism. One such study found that spending only 20 minutes in nature or the feeling of it can lower stress by biologically significant amounts. In terms of the effects on retail spaces, research has shown consumers are willing to spend more when surrounded by natural elements.
Incorporating the beneficial elements of nature into your space can be accomplished in multiple ways, and Crow Works can help. Locally and sustainably sourced from the Appalachian region, our products are made with real American Hardwoods. Our hardwood flooring and wall cladding enable you to easily incorporate nature into any space. Three key patterns in biophilic design can be accomplished with this alone.
- MATERIAL CONNECTION WITH NATURE – "a space with well executed material connection with nature feels rich, warm, and authentic" (Terrapin Bright Green). This can be achieved easily with hardwood flooring and incorporating wood wall cladding as an accent wall or filling your space with our natural wood table tops. One study demonstrated that a difference in wood ratio on the walls of an interior space led to different physiological responses. An area with a moderate ratio of wood exhibited a significant decrease in blood pressure and an area with even more actually lowered brain activity – perfect for a restorative space such as a café or spa.
- NON-VISUAL CONNECTION WITH NATURE – "a space with well executed non-visual connection with nature feels fresh and well balanced; the ambient conditions are perceived as complex but at the same time familiar and comfortable ... reminiscent of being outdoors in nature." (Terrapin Bright Green) While the look of nature is helpful, using real hardwoods is key as humans instinctually can sense the difference between real and synthetic. A recent study found the act of touching real plant life, versus synthetic plants, has also shown to induce relaxation through a change in blood flow rates (Koga & Iwasaki, 2013). This gives reason to believe the experience of touching other natural elements such as dinning on our hard wood table tops may result in similar positive outcomes.
- REFUGE – a less obvious pattern in biophilic design, a space with good refuge condition feels safe, providing a sense of retreat and withdrawal. "A good refuge space feels separate or unique from its surrounding environment; its spatial characteristics can feel contemplative, embracing and protective, without unnecessarily disengaging" (Terrapin Bright Green). The positive effects of this pattern are easy to achieve –creating seating nooks or meeting spaces within your office with our wood wall cladding brings this calming and beneficial pattern to your space.
Whether big or small, an incorporation of our natural elements into your space is not only beautiful, but can have a huge impact on the well-being of all of those who experience it.