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Biophilic design can help us adapt
to a changing world

Spending time in nature has been shown to have a positive impact on physical health and mental wellbeing so it follows that bringing natural elements into interiors can improve our quality of life, says Fleur Carson.

BIOPHILIC design is a concept that has been around for a while now but our experience of a pandemic has highlighted the importance of the natural world and its benefits to individuals, businesses and our wider economy.

By linking indoor spaces to the outside world and introducing materials and colours found in the local landscape, biophilic design can enhance our emotional connections with our environment and community, relieving stress and anxiety, reducing heart rates and blood pressure and so alleviating health issues such as cardiovascular diseases and mental disorders.

We may not always recognise how our buildings influence our mood but when we find a space comfortable and welcoming we are happy to linger and are more open to interacting with others. In this way biophilic design can, for example, help increase employee productivity and reduce sickness absence or encourage shoppers to browse longer and spend more.

Interesting and engaging spaces with an inside-outside feel will connect the building and its occupants to the surroundings. Using materials relevant to the locality, organic textures, soft lines and living plants are all elements used to generate a biophilic interior.

Eighth and Eden, a high-end wellness clinic in Worcestershire, has used biophilic design to create a luxurious and engaging seating area where guests can relax. Soft curves and a pared back neutral colour palette blend with warm Honey Oak flooring from the Van Gogh range to bring a sense of calm and enhance mindfulness.

Similarly, the Sandman Signature Hotel Spa in Aberdeen has used a natural colour scheme for a serene environment that connects guests to the local Scottish countryside. Inspired by gorse and heather covered hills, warm earthy tones, a living wall and Classic Oak flooring from the multi-format Van Gogh collection combine to create a tranquil atmosphere.

Karndean flooring is designed to bring an authentic look of natural materials but with the practical benefits of cutting-edge technology. With a wide range of designs to suit any interior and enhanced performance in durability, slip resistance, hygiene, and acoustics, specifying Karndean flooring can help meet both biophilic aesthetics and technical specifications.

As we emerge from the Covid pandemic, now is the time for us to heal through our connections with our natural environment and community. With unrivalled design flexibility and technical resilience, Karndean flooring enables designers to create unique biophilic spaces that can help us adapt with our everchanging world.

We see design as an endless journey that puts our connection with our environment at the very heart of what we do and this enables us to work together towards a sustainable future where we can all thrive.
Fleur Carson is commercial sales director at Karndean Designflooring

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