skip to main content

biophilic moodboards: building local identity in interiors

in biophilic moodboards

Interior design is far more than aesthetics. A space can support the mental and physical wellbeing of its occupants and establish a profound sense of belonging.

In biophilic design terms, the latter falls into the notion of material connection with nature: the topic of this episode of Biophilic Moodboards.

Biophilic design moodboard showing examples of local identity. 1. A raw a branch used as decor. 2. A corridor with textured stone wall. 3. A home built inside a natural cave.
Credits (from top left): Lorna de Santos, Makhno Studio, Ummo Estudio - Ph: David Vico. Moodboard: anooi studio

a philosophy coming from afar

Creating material connection with nature means designing spaces that are contextual to their surroundings. Otherwise stated: spaces that are strongly and deeply connected with their local environment.

Frank Lloyd Wright has been among the first to embrace the importance of local identity. Named organic architecture, his philosophy is rooted in:

The quintessential example of this philosophy is Wright’s masterpiece Fallingwater: a house that blends perfectly with its green surroundings.

“A building should appear to grow easily from its site and be shaped to harmonize with its surroundings if Nature is manifest there.” Cit. Frank Lloyd Wright

Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright.
Credit: Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

local identity and wellbeing

Natural materials, shapes and textures have a positive impact on wellbeing. When local, they create a stronger bond between interior spaces and the outdoor environment, inviting people to appreciate their surroundings on a much deeper level and contributing to a fond sense of belonging.

From a wider perspective, incorporating local features in a design makes for more authentic spaces, spaces that truly belong to a specific place. And one could even argue that learning to design spaces with a strong local identity could teach us humans something about how to live more gracefully on this planet…

Contemporary corridor with stone-covered wall.
Credit: Makhno Studio
Contemporary bedroom with wood panelling behind the bed.
Credit: Makhno Studio
A raw a branch used as decor.
Credit: Lorna de Santos

local identity in interiors

The willingness to build local identity can inform design at all levels.

In architecture, examples might be extending a rocky wall inside a building or integrating the natural slope of a site in the design. In interiors, prioritizing indoor-outdoor spaces and designing around outdoor views are ways of bringing spaces (and people) closer to their natural surroundings.
In all cases, thoughtful material selections and colour palettes will help establish a connection with the local natural environment.

Contemporary bedroom whose wall is the continuation of the rocky wall from outside.
Credit: Mir
Contemporary sitting area in a restaurant with a colour and material palette that recalls the beachy surroundings.
Credit: Anne Claus Interiors
Block of flats made of wood timber with plants on each balcony.
Credit: Studio Abstract
Contemporary bathroom with a dazzling stone wall and a stone sink.
Credit: Ya.V_visual

Building local identity in designed spaces results in deeper spaces that are more meaningful for people and more respectful to the natural world. Two outcomes that very well summarize a biophilic approach to design.

* Sources

share this article
  • share on pinterest
  • share on twitter
  • share on facebook
  • share via whatsapp
  • share via email
related articles