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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

Biophilic design moodboard showing the use of water in a biophilic design: 1. An outdoor rainfall shower. 2. Fountain with thin water jets. 3. A table with a water-like texture.
Credits (from top left): Vezzoni et Associés, PWP + Dew,  Mathieu Lehanneur. Moodboard: anooi studio

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.

Small waterfall in a patio.
Credit: Grandwood
Thin water jets.
Credit: PWP + Dew

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.

A small water jet.
Credit: Water Studio

accent lighting

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.

Waterfall coming out of steel panels.
Credit: HGTV (Photo by George Dzahristos)

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.

Metal ceiling that looks like rippling water.
Credit: Wuji Studio

Water can add a lot to designed spaces: movement, sound, and a real element of life that will transfer unique liveliness to the space.

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