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biophilic moodboards: designing for temperature & air variations

in biophilic moodboards

A biophilic approach to design goes way beyond aesthetics. Incorporating and echoing natural features, it creates the conditions for improved physical and mental wellbeing.

In this episode of Biophilic Moodboards, we’re looking at thermal and airflow variability: an invisible yet essential aspect to achieve healthy and comfortable spaces.

Biophilic design moodboard showing thermal & airflow variability. 1: outdoor seating area under the shadow of a tree. 2: a soft rug on a wooden flooring. 3: grass moving in the wind.
Credits (from top left): Tribù, Armadillo & Co., Azlan Baharudin . Moodboard: anooi studio

thermal variability and wellbeing

In the natural world, air is constantly moving. There are cool breezes, sunny areas and corners shaded by the canopy. Indoors things are a bit different. Air is way more stagnant and the temperature is usually controlled and set to remain stable around a value of choice.

However, studies have proven that natural ventilation and thermal variations improve our mood, concentration, and overall wellbeing. * Which calls for rethinking the way we design spaces…

the importance of options

The concept of thermal comfort is very personal. Finding the right temperature for all the occupants of a space is almost impossible, and it gets even more difficult when dealing with offices, restaurants and other communal spaces.

The response to these concerns lies in leaving people the chance to control thermal conditions in the space and adjust them to need.

Total-white bedroom with curtains moving in the breeze.
Credit: Design Hunter

operable windows

Being able to open a window is extremely powerful in its simplicity. It adjusts the temperature, introduces lively (and unexpected) airflows into the space, and lets some fresh air in.

Dining room with big window.
Credit: Studio McGee
Contemporary fireplace in a living room.
Credit: Kalfire Fireplaces

material choices

The temperature felt when touching a surface influences thermal comfort. This is to be taken into account when selecting materials, especially those accessible to the touch.

Covering big surfaces, finishes will set the thermal tone of the space. Textiles will also contribute to making a space warmer or cooler. And being easier to swap, they will help transition spaces across seasons and ensure optimal thermal comfort all year round.

Kitchen with wooden flooring and stone walls.
Credit: MIM Design
Kitchen with wooden flooring and stone walls.
Credit: Armadillo

outdoor spaces

Outdoor spaces invite people to step beyond the four walls of interior spaces and enjoy all that the outdoors has to offer - including fresh air.

Indoor-outdoor spaces will make the experience seamless, blending the two spaces into one. And providing overhead coverage will stretch the usability of the space, providing both shadow and protection from the elements.

Outdoor seating area in the shadow.
Credit: Tribù

The importance of thermal and airflow variability in interiors is an example of biophilic design’s sensory approach to interiors which goes beyond the visual, engaging all senses for a compelling experience of the space.

* Sources

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