Navigating the impact of biophilic design and sustainable flooring
Biophilia represents our innate and subconscious desire to connect with nature. In fact, it was the Harvard University ecologist Edward O. Wilson who said, “Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive, and even spiritual satisfaction. So, the more direct connections people have with nature, the better.” That’s why it not unusual that when asked about their favourite places, most people respond with a name that’s outdoors. And yet, according to Australia State the Environments, “most Australians spend more than 90% of their time indoors.” Biophilic design is then a way to connect the two by bringing elements of nature in.
Today, there’s growing evidence of biophilia’s positive impact in a number of commercial settings. According to The Human Spaces 2015 report, ‘Perceptions of well-being increase by up to 15% when people work in surroundings that incorporate natural elements. This is in comparison to those who have no contact with nature in their workplace’
Project: PSM Designer: Foster & Associates
Project: Macquarie University, Designer: Gray Puksand Photography: Robert Walsh
Biophilic flooring design
As one of the largest surface areas in any commercial establishment, flooring is a practical design tool to create a connection with the outdoors. For instance, coloured carpet tiles or woven vinyl tiles could be a great way to tell a story within a space. These multitasking products are also ideal for providing acoustic support and a feeling of comfort.
Angelique Mandarano, Commercial Product Manager at Signature adds, “In place of the lineal or graphic designs, which were commonplace in commercial interiors, there is a growing demand for carpet tile designs that are more organic, tactile and textural complimented by natural finishes like timber and stone.”
Vinyl planks tend to imitate nature as well, emulating the look associated with stone and timber flooring. On the other hand, nature-inspired custom carpets could evoke the great outdoors within hospitality settings.
The concept of biophilic design also extends to the environmental credentials of flooring products. When sustainability is a priority, look for GreenTag Certifications, Declare Labels and Environmental Product Declarations.
With new technologies and systems, commercial flooring is at the forefront of biophilic and sustainable design. And, with Signature’s suite of flooring products, designers have an abundance of options. To create spaces that inspire and rejuvenate users.