Biophilic Design – The new essential in the Office


When hearing the term ‘Biophilic Design’, many people may think it is simply adding plants into an interior space. 

As true as that is, there is a lot more to it. Biophilic design focuses on the inclusion of nature and/or natural forms and imagery into the built environment. The word ‘Biophilic’ literally translates to ‘love of living things (or life)‘ in Greek. 

As humans we are innately drawn to nature, whether it be the sound of crashing waves or the wind rustling the leaves. These sounds are typically very relaxing.

The values of Biophilic design include sustainability, and cleaner air. But the benefits go far beyond and include even psychological advantages as well.


| “As people return to offices with a little post-pandemic anxiety, creating a relaxing environment has never been more vital to the overall wellness of teams, employees and customers.” |


Biophilic Office Design solutions can be beneficial for employees, especially those who do not have access to natural light or view of nature. Incorporating these elements into the office can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and also help lower blood pressure and heart rates. As people return to offices with a little post-pandemic anxiety, creating a relaxing environment has never been more vital to the overall wellness of teams, employees and customers. 

When requested, our office design team can add natural elements as part of their creative process. Clients can then envision what that space will look like and imagine what it will feel like – on their way to create a calming and healing aesthetic. We are seeing interest in water features such as ponds, and fountains, as well as plant-filled break rooms, living walls, clusters of plants in main areas.

Biophilic Design Suggestions:

1) Bring nature into the space

  • Add live and faux plants (see available office planters)
  • Add green and blue paint colours known to promote serenity and healing

2) Choose natural materials

  • Select wood finished furniture
  • Incorporate natural surface texture such as granite, limestone and more
  • Consider native elements familiar to your climate and geographic location

3) Use softer, organic shapes throughout the space

4) Incorporate a “plant break room” and create your own “forest bathing” style respite

5) Add the natural through technology

  • Choose nature for monitor wallpapers
  • Add TV screens with rotating images of forests, landscapes, flowers 

6) Consider water features

  • Small fountains can be inexpensive and add both visual and auditory relaxation
  • Can also be achieved with colours (IE. blue is calming and emulates being near water)

Are you ready to cultivate some Biophilic Design to freshen, revive and beautify your office spaces?

Article created through the passion and research of Karissa Lundi, Interior Designer, atWork team member and Biophilic Design advocate. 

Lastly… On Plants…

If you are like the many facility leaders daunted by the idea of something they have to care for, you may not follow through on Biophilic design options. We all want to enjoy plants, but it doesn’t mean anyone is enthused about caring and maintaining it all. For example, having a spectacular living wall may look beautiful at first, but who wants to come into work and worry about it wilting or dying after all the investment?

When it comes to the plant part of Biophilic Design, there is a helpful solution! There are plant care teams who offer plans for caring for their creations to keep them vibrant and thriving. 

Urban Green is one successful plant care company serving businesses from Toronto to London, Ontario and the surrounding areas. President James Cuthbert brought his extensive experience, skills and knowledge from a career in outdoor landscaping and helps businesses maintain healthy, tranquil and beautiful indoor green spaces.

James explains that people love buying plants and recognize the benefits but keeping them beautiful and dealing with the mess and upkeep become quickly wearisome. 

When you hire a plant team like Urban Green, they not only set up the interior landscape to match your vision, but also choose products that, with a good maintenance plan, will live successfully long-term in your space. Their business values are focused on providing permanent healthy workplace environments, not just selling plant services.