Our fast-paced lifestyle has forced us indoors as we keep in touch with the world outside through our computer screens and mobile devices. With 90 per cent of our time spent inside buildings, mostly under artificial lights and in a controlled environment, we are missing out on our natural connection with the great outdoors.
Natural elements such as fresh air, lush greenery and natural light energise us, increase our productivity and improve our wellbeing. In our rush to bond with our inboxes, we are neglecting that human-nature connection we innately crave.
While it may be difficult for us to get out of our buildings, there are solutions such as biophilic design that can be embraced to introduce natural elements into our indoor spaces and re-establish our connection with nature.
Here are four ways to weave natural elements into the workplace.
1. Explore nature-inspired materials
One way to introduce nature into the workplace is by incorporating materials inspired by nature. Wood, for example, embraces natural imperfections, enhancing the uniqueness, beauty and character of every piece. Materials such as laminate mimic the appearance and warmth of wood, while stone and Corian are a nod to natural landscapes.
2. Greenery, reimagined
An important part of biophilic design, plants are proven to reduce employee stress and anxiety with their calming effects. Living walls are modular, flexible and scalable, and design options are endless, inspiring people while bringing them closer to nature in a completely new way.
3. It’s in the fabric
Using fabric is a subtle way to incorporate biophilic design within built environments. Steelcase Australia brands Coalesse and Designtex collaborated on a series of organic patterns, calming colours and natural textiles that reflect nature’s soothing properties.
4. Light it up
While natural light is a desirable element of interior design, not every office space comes with windows. Steelcase has partnered with renowned Italian lighting designer FLOS to offer a line of unique, modern lighting solutions. Featuring pendants, sconces, and table and floor lamps, this lighting range combines beauty and technology with a sense of play to transform any office.