Written by: Julia Johns
It was Edward O. Wilson who first hypothesized biophilia which he defines as "the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.” Proposed in the 1980s, biophilia is growing in popularity, and there is a wealth of research to back it. Studies show that communing with nature can reduce stress, improve cognitive function and enhance mood and creativity. Seeing as we live in the Digital Age where we are surrounded by screens and reminded of their drawbacks, we could all stand to incorporate a few biophilic principles into our homes.
Plants—not surprisingly—should be members of your biophilic home. Native or exotic. Easy to care for or high maintenance. Really, any plants will do. If you have pets, however, be sure your plants are safe for them too.
Water has a tranquil presence, and humans are drawn to it. After all, who hasn’t gazed upon the vastness of an ocean while listening to the waves lapping at the shore? To adopt this element takes a bit more ingenuity than plants, but there are plenty of fun, unique ways to add that touch of serenity to your home. For instance, try this relaxating indoor fountain.
Plants need sunlight, and so do we. Incorporating light into your home is as simple as pulling back your curtains and raising your blinds. Artificial light is not a good enough substitute. Our homes are sealed off from the outside world, but we need to let it in.
Air is essential—obviously. We live in an air-conditioned world, and with Missouri’s sporadic weather it usually is a blessing. However, it is highly unnatural. So, on those days or hours when the weather cooperates, throw open your window. Let fresh air circulate through your home. You’ll breathe easier.
Biophilic design promotes the idea of nature as being a multi-sensory experience; therefore, you have to find ways to appeal to your senses. The benefits are worth the commitment. We spend so much time caring for our home; our home should care for us as well.