biophilic moodboards: water
in biophilic moodboards
One of the main reasons why biophilic design suggests the use of water in design is the effects it has on the mind. Reduced stress, better mood, improved concentration and an overall feeling of calm are just some of the proven benefits of exposure to water.
Let’s explore the use of water features in this episode of Biophilic Moodboards…
sensory water features
The key to using water in designed spaces is movement. Moving water can be seen and heard at the same time, engaging the senses and resulting in a sensory-rich feature. But not all movements are the same. A soothing effect will come from flowy and smooth movements. If the movement is too strong or violent, that would actually have the opposite effect, creating a sense of anxiety and discomfort.
Also, a water feature will be even more compelling if can be touched, engaging one more sense.
the importance of sizing
Flowing water always creates compelling sounds and constantly-changing shapes, regardless of size.
A smaller water feature can be just as effective as a bigger one and in some cases even more appropriate. Big water features make quite a noise, which could end up feeling disturbing in a smaller space.
If there is one thing that brings any water feature to the next level, that is accent lighting. A light pointing at the right spot can emphasize the flowing movements of water, or give more dimension to single drops when they splash.
Good lighting will make a water feature even more intriguing to watch, amplifying its effects.
water without water
If real water has unique qualities, some of its features can be recalled with other materials, giving a sense of flow and movement, creating ripples, bubbles and other effects.
Especially when paired with lighting, these water-like applications can add a lot to a space, introducing an unexpected, eye-catching and lively feature.
Water can add a lot to designed spaces: movement, sound, and a real element of life that will transfer unique liveliness to the space.
- Alvarsson J., Wiens S., Nilsson M. (2010). Stress Recovery during Exposure to Nature Sound and Environmental Noise. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 7 (3), 1036-1046.
- Pheasant R. J., Fisher M. N., Watts G. R., Whitaker D. J., Horoshenkov K. V. (2010). The Importance of Auditory-Visual Interaction in the Construction of ‘Tranquil Space’. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 30, 501-509.
- Biederman I., Vessel E. (2006). Perceptual Pleasure & the Brain. American Scientist, 94(1), 249-255.
- Hunter M.D., Eickhoff S.B., Pheasant R.J., Douglas M.J., Watts G.R., Farrow T.F.D., Hyland D., Kang J., Wilkinson I.D., Horoshenkov K.V., Woodruff P.W.R. (2010). The State of Tranquility: Subjective Perception is Shaped By Contextual Modulation of Auditory Connectivity. NeuroImage 53, 611–618.
- Windhager S., Atzwangera K., Booksteina F.L., Schaefera K. (2011). Fish in a Mall Aquarium-An Ethological Investigation of Biophilia. Landscape and Urban Planning, 99, 23–30.
- Barton J., Pretty J. (2010). What Is the Best Dose of Nature and Green Exercise for Improving Mental Health. Environmental Science & Technology, 44, 3947–3955.
- White M., Smith A., Humphryes K., Pahl S., Snelling D., Depledge M. (2010). Blue Space: The Importance of Water for Preference, Affect and Restorativeness Ratings of Natural and Built Scenes. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 30 (4), 482-493.
- Karmanov D., Hamel R. (2008). Assessing the restorative potential of contemporary urban environment(s). Landscape and Urban Planning 86, 115-125.
- Heerwagen J.H., Orians G.H. (1993). Humans, Habitats and Aesthetics. In: S.R. Kellert & R.S. Wilson (Eds.). The Biophilia Hypothesis (138-172). Washington: Island Press. pp484.
- Ruso, B., Atzwanger K.(2003). Measuring Immediate Behavioural Responses to the Environment. The Michigan Psychologist, 4, p. 12.
- The 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design is a framework conceptualized by Terrapin Bright Green