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.
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:
conceiving all parts of a building as harmonious components of a single whole
deeply integrating man-made architecture (and interiors) with their natural surroundings
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
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…
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.
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.
- Joye Y. (2007). Architectural Lessons From Environmental Psychology: The Case of Biophilic Architecture. Review of General Psychology, 11 (4), 305-328.
- Lichtenfeld S., Elliot A.J., Maier M.A. , Pekrun R. (2012). Fertile Green: Green Facilitates Creative Performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38 (6), 784-797
- The 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design is a framework conceptualized by Terrapin Bright Green