Biophilia, a new way of thinking about workplace design

The way and the where of work is in constant evolution.

The “way” has been influenced by a well-being revolution, propelled by sit / stand furniture. Many studies now recommend changing position throughout the work day to increase well-being. We are now seeing green in the “where” with the new well-being trend, biophilia, making its way into our workspaces.

In an increasingly urbanized society, we have fewer opportunities to be surrounded by nature. The biologist, E.O. Wilson explains the concept of biophilia, stating that human beings have a biological need to connect with nature and that this connection affects our well-being, productivity and relationships. Following this train of thought, biophilic design’s objective is to reestablish the link between human beings and nature in the built environment. Some workspace architects and designers have translated this concept into nature-oriented solutions in the heart of offices by including living walls, plants and even greenhouses in hallways, meeting rooms and cafeterias.


Photo : Space Encounters, Amsterdam

The architecture firm, Space Encounters in Amsterdam has brought biophilia into the heart of the office. In one of their latest projects, the architects sought to bring a unique energy into the building. This was achieved through the creation of an indoor forest between two hallways. The forest was divided into three meeting spaces nestled amongst the trees. The result is a beautiful way to foster concentration while recharging at the same time.


Photo : Space Encounters, Amsterdam

It is undeniable – human beings are drawn to nature. It makes us feel good. The view of a natural landscape encourages healing while natural light favors learning. We will no doubt see an increase in biophilia design elements not only in workspaces but the health and hospitality industries. The green well-being revolution in workplace design is on!