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designing a fair booth the biophilic way

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Biophilic design can be applied to all situations: homes, offices, restaurants and shops, gyms…and even fair booths!

In fact, biophilic fair booths often result in impressive designs that stand out from the crowd. They might sometimes be too much to be replicated as-is, but they definitely can give some good inspiration for biophilic design projects in general! So here are some of my favourites, spotted both during the latest design fairs I’ve joined and while wandering around on the Internet. Let’s go!

lush greenery

Using greenery in a biophilic design means a lot more than just adding a couple of potted plants (as you’ve heard me say multiple times if you’ve been following along for a while). Instead, it’s a delicate work of balance aimed at incorporating a variety of plants in a harmonious way.

One very effective way to do that is certainly vertical gardens. A garden wall design immediately creates a majestic atmosphere and, if done right, it allows including plenty of different plants without them feeling overwhelming. Ginger & Jagger‘s booth at Decorex 2019 is definitely rich in greenery and a similar design could feel overwhelming in a different situation, but it’s just right for the occasion if you ask me!

Booth whose back wall is entirely covered in greenery.
Close-up of the booth's back wall that is entirely covered in greenery.
Credits: Ginger & Jagger (via Instagram) at Decorex 2019

Porcelanosa has instead added plants on a partially tiled wall, which makes for an alternative and definitely effective tile display!

Wall finished with hexagonal tiles on the bottom and a lush vertical garden on the top.
Credit: Porcelanosa (via Instagram @greenarea2) at Cersaie 2019

natural textures + materials

There’s no doubt about it, texture is a tried and tested way to add interest to a surface. Lately, the tactile quality of surfaces is gaining particular relevance and many fair booths have reflected this search for tactile richness.

Organic shapes and bent wood have been the ingredients of Tom Raffield booth at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019.

Booth enclosed in a wood structure with natural materials and greenery.
Credit: Tom Raffield at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

On the same note, Atelier Vierkant has displayed huge clay planters and tile samples on a smooth background, transforming the booth in a unique textural experience.

Booth with trees on huge textural planters.
Credit: Atelier Vierkant at Salone del Mobile 2019
Close-up of the textural planters and tall trees.
Big tree against a terracotta background.
Credits: Atelier Vierkant at Salone del Mobile 2019 - Photos by anooi studio

Porcelanosa instead has laid stone slabs on a bed of moss to showcase faucets at Cersaie 2019.

Faucets displayed on a stone slab laid on top of a layer of moss.
Credit: Porcelanosa (via Instagram @greenarea2) at Cersaie 2019

And Opiary has transformed a small booth at ICFF in a little biophilic heaven!

Textured surfaces and lush greenery on a booth wall.
Close-up of the textured surfaces and lush greenery on the booth wall.
Credits: Opiary (via Instagram) at ICFF 2019

engaging spaces

Entering a fair booth can be quite an experience. And incorporating biophilic elements like mystery and prospect is a good strategy to make the experience unique and more compelling. This has definitely been the case in Ceramica Flaminia ’s stand at Cersaie 2019. Sinks, bathtubs and toilets have been displayed among natural elements creating jungle-like oasis that visitors walked around while moving on a pre-designed path.

Booth designed as a walkway cutting through a jungle where toilets, sinks and bathtubs are displayed.
Bathtubs and sinks surrounded by greenery in a jungle oasis inside the booth.
Toilets surrounded by greenery in a jungle-like environment.
Credits: Ceramica Flaminia at Cersaie 2019

Another feature that is common to all fairs is they are crowded (and quite exhausting at times). Therefore, incorporating a refuge area in a booth design is a way to provide visitors with a space to rest for a moment. But even just looking at it can be sufficient to get a sense of calm and relief!

Hanging chair creating a protected corner in a booth design.
Credit: Tom Raffield at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019

water features

Water is probably one of the biophilic features people find more difficult to imagine in interiors. But in reality, there are plenty of ways of bringing a water feature in, depending on the occasion.

In the scope of the latest Salone de Mobile 2019, Antonio Lupi has created a real water show, showcasing water jets of varying intensity on a greenery background.

Water jets falling over a lush greenery wall.
Other water jets falling over a lush greenery wall.
Credits: Antonio Lupi at Salone del Mobile 2019

Smaller but by no means less effective is the proposal of Opiary at ICCFF. A huge vessel becomes a little pond with fishes and floating vases. This would actually be a gorgeous biophilic feature for a patio as well, as it creates a mini-landscape where the mind can get lost (in a good sense of course).

Huge vessel filled with water containing floating smaller vases with plants.
Credit: Opiary (via Instagram) at ICFF 2019
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