biophilic moodboards: creating refuge areas in interiors
in biophilic moodboards
One of the primary objectives of biophilic design is crafting wellbeing-centered spaces.
This includes the notion of refuge areas to make spaces more soothing and inviting, which is what we’ll explore in this episode of Biophilic Moodboards…
The dictionary defines a refuge as “a place that provides shelter or protection”. And isn’t this what an interior (especially a home) should be? An alcove, a safe harbour, a place to feel at ease and disconnect from outside world…
In practice though, every home is the background to many different activities. It is a place for everyday family life, gatherings with friends, even work for someone. With so many different activities happening, it’s sometimes hard to identify home as a calming shelter. This is why it’s important to carve refuge areas, which will become an invite to find some moments of calm and silence throughout the day.
refuge in interiors
Taking inspiration from places that provide shelter in nature, the key ingredients of a refuge could be summarized as:
- a comfortable space
- rather small in size
- yet without feeling claustrophobic
- that is shielded from the rest of the space (ideally, a refuge should provide protection from three sides, leaving the fourth open to the surroundings.)
Reading nooks and window seats are perfect interior design examples. But the concept can be applied to whole rooms as well, with bedroom and bathroom being the ideal ones.
not only for relaxing
Refuge areas are not just spaces to relax, and they can serve different functions in different spaces.
Being sheltered by definition, refuge areas can be used to create the right conditions for concentration in the workplace and in home offices.
In public spaces such as restaurants and urban areas, the concept of refuge will be used to create more private alcoves inside a bigger shared space.
Refuge is a powerful concept that can truly help shape better spaces, more comfortable spaces where people can feel and function better.
- Grahn P., Stigsdotter U.K. (2010). The Relation Between Perceived Sensory Dimensions of Urban Green Space and Stress Restoration. Landscape and Urban Planning 94, 264-275.
- Wang K., Taylor R.B. (2006). Simulated Walks through Dangerous Alleys: Impacts of Features and Progress on Fear. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 26, 269-283.
- Petherick, N. (2000). Environmental Design and Fear: The Prospect-Refuge Model and the University College of the Cariboo Campus. Western Geography, 10 (1), 89-112.
- Ulrich, R.S. (1993). Biophilia, Biophobia and Natural Landscapes. In: S.R. Kellert & R.S. Wilson. The Biophilia Hypothesis (73-137). Washington: Island Press.
- The 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design is a framework conceptualized by Terrapin Bright Green