Biomimicry and biophilic styles of office design are similar, but both produce different benefits for staff and interior design. They both relate to nature and are inspired by environmental influences but have different aims in relation to sustainability and health, so can benefit an office’s interior differently.
When it comes to office design, every piece of furniture, every desk and every open space must be utilised with the company and its employees in mind. Therefore, these two nature-inspired ways of designing must be broken down to understand which style is more suitable for a business.
Taking a Leaf out of Nature’s Book
Biomimicry is the imitation of life and the living, natural world. Biomimicry in design is supposed to reflect nature’s patterns and strategies. It’s looking at sustainable solutions to the challenges we face as humans and directly emulating what nature has to offer.
The argument for biomimetic design is that nature has already achieved success and directly applying its processes to our problems, even in the office, will benefit us greatly. Biomimicry in the commercial world has lent itself to many industries, including the high-speed public transport in Japan inspired by the kingfisher divers and wind turbines based on the fins of Humpback whales.
Biomimicry is taking the best elements of nature and using them to benefit the office interior and staff’s wellbeing. Office design in this sense does not have to complicated or brand new, with biomimetic methods it’s about looking at what we already have and using what we know already works. The natural world is a perfect place to learn from, with its trial and error functionality and evolutionary problem solving. Biomimicry focuses on innovation and improving performance and is great for those who want to create an office that is built on engineering that evolves and sustains against the hardship of time.
Dendrites Meet Design
However, biophilic design aims to connect people to nature instead. Biophilic design is, in a way, more obvious to the visible eye. With the aim to emotionally and physically create a unison between human and the natural world, this kind of design utilises plants, shell wall dividers and literally breaks down the office walls. Air conditioners are replaced with fresher, more eco-friendly devices and the design tends to align itself with wood, glass and outdoor materials that resemble scenic landscapes.
Designs inspired by biophilia aim to replicate how nature makes a person feel and reinforce that experience and connection in everyday working life. Biophilic design’s most prominent benefit is that it has a positive impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing.
The workplace can sometimes suffer from dreary walls and a lack of lighting and it can be difficult to plant a tree in the middle of the office to inspire feelings of morning walks or build a cabin to give the impression of a wooden hut in the middle of a forest. Therefore, biophilic design has become so valuable in the improvement of an employer’s health as the outdoor world provides a calming and tranquil atmosphere, without going to excessive lengths.
Breathe in the Office
However, maybe it is a mixture of both that could be the most beneficial to an office’s interior. The biomimetic elements can provide revolutionary technology and business performance, whereas biophilic design can improve employees’ wellbeing. Nevertheless, when fully understood both push the importance of nature and how returning to a more natural state can benefit the working environment and its inhabitants aesthetically and mentally. Nature-inspired elements are invaluable to office design and should not be overlooked or wasted.