biophilic moodboards: the benefits of "risky" interiors
in biophilic moodboards
One of the objectives of biophilic design is recreating the layout of natural landscapes, a goal that falls under the name of Nature of the Space.
It is no surprise that nature is filled with risky situations and environments, but can we say they bring positive feelings? And even so, how does this fit in interior design?
This is what we’ll explore in this episode of Biophilic Moodboards…
risk and wellbeing
In order to fully support our wellbeing, interiors need to be relaxing or stimulating according to the situation. If a bedroom calls for a soothing ambiance, a stimulating environment will be more appropriate when creativity is required (like in office design) or to create a compelling interior.
This is exactly where risk features come into play, as they help to make an atmosphere intriguing and inspiring. But not just any type of risk will work…
risk in biophilic design
Risk is a broad concept and what is in scope for biophilic design is a balanced combination of perceived risk and a rational knowledge of safety. In practice, this refers to situations that seem risky while in fact being safe.
Such feelings of apparent risk have been connected with dopamine release in our brain *. A short dose of dopamine can stimulate motivation, memory and problem-solving, all precious assets when trying to be creative!
On top of this, risk design features are among the most spectacular ones. They trigger a sense of excitement that leaves people surprised and amazed, achieving what we would commonly call a wow factor.
risk in interior design
There exist several ways of introducing risk in interiors. As a general rule, it’s all about playing with shapes, materials and perspectives to create the perception of risk while keeping everything safe.
Clear glass is a good example. Glass makes things visually disappear, creating a sense of instability while still being structurally sound. Suspended and cantilevered elements are also a way to add an element of risk to interiors as they give a sense of precarious balance.
playing safe with risk
Risk features are clearly not suitable for all situations or for everybody. But there is one instance of risk that is less extreme yet equally effective: the risk of getting wet.
Examples of it would be a floating pathway across a water pond, or a hammock sitting on top of a pool.
Risk features are one way of recreating natural layouts. Together with prospect, refuge and mystery, they can transform a space from uninteresting to highly stimulating and engaging.
- Kohno, M., Ghahremani D.G., Morales A.M., Robertson C.L., Ishibashi K., Morgan A.T., Mandelkern M.A., London E.D.(2013). Risk-Taking Behavior: Dopamine D2/D3 Receptors, Feedback, and Frontolimbic Activity. Cerebral Cortex, 2015 Jan, 25(1): 236–245.
- Wang, D.V., Tsien J.Z. (2011). Convergent Processing of Both Positive and Negative Motivational Signals by the VTA Dopamine Neuronal Populations. PLoS ONE 6(2), 2011; 6(2): e17047
- Zald, D.H., R.L. Cowan, P. Riccardi, R.M. Baldwin, M.S. Ansari, R. Li, E.S. Shelby, C.E. Smith, M. McHugo, & R.M. Kessler (2008). Midbrain Dopamine Receptor Availability Is Inversely Associated with Novelty-Seeking Traits in Humans. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31 December 2008, 28(53): 14372-14378.
- The 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design is a framework conceptualized by Terrapin Bright Green