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biophilic moodboards: natural shapes

in biophilic moodboards

The natural world is drawn with curved lines and smooth corners. Unlike interiors and buildings, there are hardly any straight lines in nature.

With the aim to reconcile natural and man-made, biophilic design welcomes curved and organic forms in designed spaces, and it’s not just for an aesthetic reason…

the power of curved forms

Nature-inspired forms add a lot to the atmosphere of a space. Curves feel welcoming, soft and inviting. They add movement and liveliness, and they help the mind to pause. Nature’s shapes go hand-in-hand with rich textures, which will complement them for added warmth, dimension and an extra sensory element. Together, nature’s shapes and textures make what are called biomorphic forms and patterns in biophilic design terms.

In interiors and designed spaces, natural forms can be incorporated in many ways, from furniture to patterns…

Biophilic design moodboard showing natural shapes in interiors. 1. A space with arches and curved furniture 2. A wallpaper depicting delicate flowers. 3. A curved sofa.
Credit: The Spaces – Ph: Adrian Gaut, Glamora, Armadillo

structural elements

When empty, the majority of interior spaces look like boxes. Plain straight boxes with little life and interest. Adding curves is adding life and interest…

Internal partitions and structural elements can all incorporate nature-inspired forms; think of curved walls, arches and vaults, sinuous staircases. Used as space-defining details, curves can also introduce a mysterious feature, making the experience of the space more compelling. Or they can suggest a sense of refuge, creating comfortable shelters.

A corridor with a sinuous profile.
Credit: Koichi Takada Architects – Ph: Oscar Rialubin
Arches in a restaurant space.
Credit: Yodezeen
A wall with a rounded edge.
Credit: Kapsimalis Architects – Ph: Yiorgos Kordakis


Natural shapes can come in the form of furniture, lighting and all the non-structural elements that live in a space. These alone can add plenty of warmth to the atmosphere through rounded corners, organic shapes, and smooth lines. Curved forms can also suggest gathering, shaping how the space will be perceived and used.

All real natural elements will also introduce nature’s shapes. Think about water features or plants, with the many uses they can have in interiors and designed spaces.

Detail of a the round corner of a piece of furniture.
Credit: Kelder Architects – Ph: Angus Martin
A curved wall feature with a branch styled in front of it.
Credit: Ksenia Bortsova
Dining space with curved furniture and a sinuous artwork on the wall.
Credit: Elena Skutova – Ph: Olga Melekestseva


Smooth corners, rounded shapes and sinuous lines can also be the foundation of a nature-inspired pattern. Wherever a pattern can be found (textiles, wallpapers, art…) is an opportunity to enrich the space with more references to the natural world, maybe even introducing the complexity of fractal patterns.

Wallpaper depicting delicate flowers.
Credit: Glamora
Patterned cushions.
Credit: Studio McGee

The spaces we design and live in on a daily basis are made of shapes. Which shapes we choose to use is not just a functional or aesthetic decision; it will influence the experience of the space, making it either more soothing or more intriguing, yet certainly more connected to the natural world we all come from and depend upon.

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