Biophilic Design: Why Wood Floors Satisfy Our Need to Connect with Nature
What is Biophilia?
You might be a biophiliac and not even know it. Do you love the feeling of sand beneath your toes or the sound of waves crashing on a deserted beach? Do you find peace beneath a canopy of tree tops or while exploring a winding trail? Do you get lost in the moment when the sky is ablaze with color as the setting sun sinks below the horizon? Are you a sucker for cuddling with your furry friend or watching heartwarming animal videos?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be a biophiliac. The term “biophilia” was coined in 1973 when noted psychoanalyst Erich Fromm defined it as, “The passionate love of life and of all that is alive”. It gained further traction in 1984 when biologist Edward O. Wilson proposed that, “The tendency of humans to focus on and to affiliate with nature and other life forms has, in part, a genetic basis”. In plain terms, we’re naturally predisposed to love natural things, whether it’s geography, animals or plants.
Why Does Biophilism Matter?
Growing evidence suggests that interaction with nature makes people happier and healthier. “Surgical patients go home sooner if their hospital rooms have a view outside. A walk in the park can boost the concentration of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Spending time in a forest has been shown to lower stress levels and blood pressure while boosting immune function”.(1)
So if humans have an innate, biological desire to connect with nature, yet we spend 90% of our time indoors, whether in buildings, cars, trains or planes, what might that mean for our mental and physical health? Can stress-related illnesses be combated by bringing some of the outdoors inside, thereby providing a more constant connection to the natural world? Instead of sheltering ourselves from nature, how might we bridge the gap and satisfy our fundamental need to unite with it?
Biophilia + Design = Biophilic Design
The emergence of the architectural movement known as “biophilic design” has encouraged the use of inside spaces that replicate the outdoors. Designs that reconnect people with nature provide healthier homes and places, and they make people feel good when they’re in them. By adding plantings or water features, adjusting ventilation systems and natural lighting – these touches can elevate someone’s mood just by being around them. Many adhere to the notion that “…biophilic design can reduce stress, improve cognitive function and creativity, improve our well-being and expedite healing.”(2)
Wood Floors Help Satisfy Our Need to Connect with Nature
We all know that wood floors are timelessly beautiful, but as we learn more about biophilia, we understand why rooms with wood floors seem so much more inviting and welcoming. Wood floors are literally made by bringing some of the outdoors in – you can’t get more natural than that. And while you may walk on your floors often, you might not notice just how big their surface areas really are; aside from the walls and ceilings of your rooms, floors make up the greatest amount of surface area in any space. So when you’re considering which material will serve as the foundation of your design, make sure you thoughtfully consider which product will effortlessly connect you with nature… and last for years to come.
Not all wood floors are created equal, so when it comes time to invest in a floor for your project, be sure that you’ve done your research to select the right product. We’ve created a Smart Buyer’s Guide for helpful advice on choosing wood flooring. To explore various wood species, colors and textures, please download our guide today.
Still not convinced? Hear it straight from our clients. Tour the Jampolis Residence or read this popular blog post [https://www.wideplankflooring.com/?p=20004&preview=true ] and be inspired by these homeowners who brought the outdoors indoors.
- Nelson, Bryn (2018, March). Americans have a nature problem. Is ‘biophilic design’ the solution? Retrieved from [https://www.nbcnews.com/]
- Browning, W., Ryan, C., Clancy, J. (2014). 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design. Retrieved from [https://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com]