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Biophilic moodboards: building local identity in interiors

in biophilic moodboards

A biophilic approach to design values the distinctive identity of place in many ways, crafting spaces that inspire a profound sense of belonging in people. In particular, a material connection with nature comes from locally relevant physical features.

This episode of Biophilic Moodboards looks into the connection between designed spaces and local identity

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

about local identity

Crafting a strong local identity means designing spaces that are contextual to their surroundings, spaces that are deeply rooted in their local environment.

Locally relevant design choices connect designed spaces to local specificities, 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…

Corridor with stone-covered wall.
Credit: Makhno Studio
Sitting area whose colour and material palette recalls the surroundings.
Credit: Anne Claus Interiors

a philosophy coming from afar

Within the context of valuing the identity of place in all its aspects, material connection with nature refers to physical features in particular.

This is a long-lived approach, as the use of local resources has always been part of architecture and design. Far in the past, locally sourced materials were the only viable choice. With time, they have become a deliberate choice aimed at shaping spaces that harmoniously blend with their surroundings while respecting and celebrating local specificities.

Contemporary bedroom with wood panelling behind the bed.
Credit: Makhno Studio

local identity in designed spaces

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

Integrating the natural features of a site in the design, selecting materials, shapes, textures and colours that are relevant to a place, valuing long-lived craftsmaship techniques, blurring boundaries with indoor-outdoor spaces and outdoor views, introducing cultural clues, valuing local history… These are all elements that give soul to a space, rooting it firmly into its place.

Wood building with plants on each balcony.
Credit: Studio Abstract

As a whole, building local identity through design means crafting spaces that are more meaningful for people and more respectful to the natural world. Nourishing spaces designed with people and nature in mind.

Biophilic design resources by anooi:
A Biophilic YearApplying Biophilic DesignVisual Library of Biophilic Design