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Biophilic design

Exposure to nature has never been more important than it is today. With longer working hours and poor work-life balance, we’re spending more time than ever before indoors and away from the natural world.

What this means is we’re missing out on the essential psychological and physiological benefits we get from exposure to trees, fresh air, mountains, and bodies of water. With biophilic design, Ambius is reshaping how we think about and interact with our environments, creating smarter, healthier spaces for all.

What is biophilia?

Biophilia can be defined as “humanity’s innate need to connect with nature and the natural environment” according to Kenneth Freeman, Interior Landscaping Consultant. “As a species, we have divorced ourselves from our natural habitat: the open plains. Just as zoo animals and lab rats that are placed in sterile, unenriched environments show signs of physical and mental stress, so do humans when forced to work in lean, sterile, and unenriched workplaces.”

At its core, biophilic design is an architectural framework inspired by the natural world that weaves the organic patterns of nature into the built environment, strengthening the human-nature connection that we all yearn for. Businesses can reduce the negative impacts of sterile, lean workplaces and actually enhance their environments by integrating a variety of biophilic features such as green walls, plants, natural woods or stone, and more that mimic the natural world. These biophilic design elements effectively create a positive response as if people were exposed to the natural stimuli in real life.


Download the infographic to find out just how powerful biophilic design can be for the guest experience in hospitality businesses.

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The core elements of biophilic design


The philosophy of biophilia has led to somewhat of a renaissance within the construction and architectural industries. Wellness and sustainable design practices such as the WELL Building Standard and LEED continue to take on increased importance within the built environment. It’s this collection of standards, sustainability initiatives, and wellness programs stemming from biophilic principles that are generating the change that employees are beginning to see integrated into their workplaces from coast to coast.

The tangible, real-life benefits associated with biophilic design that make the process of constructing, designing, and decorating buildings according to its precepts worthwhile for businesses of all types. According to Freeman, “the current research shows how enriched and empowered environments improve business outcomes such as improved productivity, well-being, and engagement; and there’s a similar body of research that shows that plants and natural elements, in particular, have a profound effect.”

In terms of developing a uniform approach, biophilic design is a way of linking together all the research explaining the myriad benefits that occur when the concepts are put into effect in officeshotelshealthcare facilities or virtually any space. The research makes a strong case for improving human capacity, overall wellness, and job-specific functions that results in a variety of benefits for those working or operating in biophilically designed spaces.

Ambius designers are experts in enhancing the office space of businesses just like yours. Contact us to speak to one of our specialists and get the ball rolling for improving your space today.

Benefits of biophilic design

  • Reduced employee absenteeism
  • Improved health
  • Increased mood and feeling of well-being
  • Improved productivity
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Mental restoration & reduced fatigue

Biophilia, and biophilic design specifically, is only expected to gain in popularity in the next decade. The philosophy has already achieved a new level of “mainstream” notoriety in recent years, however, there’s still plenty of room for growth as biophilia and biophilic design expand beyond interior design and architectural circles and into new areas such as Human Resources, building operations, and property management.

New research extolling the benefits of biophilic design is being released regularly, and initiatives led by the WELL Building Standard are becoming more commonplace. With research and academic inquiry on the rise, it appears as though the incoming results have been profound enough to warrant a new level of interest and excitement from leading research institutions and businesses. As employers continue to become more aware of the scientific research, the mental and physical benefits to their workforce and the growth of their bottom line due to sustainability and increased performance, the more important biophilia will become in today’s world.

Ambius’ sister company, SOLitude Lake Management, believes in a similar philosophy when it comes to freshwater aquatic resources. Being around clean, healthy water reduces stress and anxiety, boosts creativity, and improves our overall wellness. SOLitude’s mission is to promote healthy, beautiful lakes and ponds that can serve as a space for rejuvenation and relaxation. By partnering with Ambius and SOLitude, businesses can enhance their entire property to further strengthen the connection to nature. Blur the lines between indoors and outdoors by creating a natural environment that promotes health and happiness inside and out. Learn more about SOLitude’s mission and how their team of aquatic biologists can help improve your property’s freshwater resources, here.

Applying biophilic design


You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The lobby is the first thing that people see when they enter a building, and with biophilic design, visitors are instantly immersed in an environment that puts them at ease.

Dining areas

Nature connections reduce stress — an ideal feature of a space meant for “taking a break.” Also, elements such as green walls can help to reduce noise.


An oft-overlooked space, hallways provide the perfect opportunity to instill a sense of calm as people travel from one location to another.

Work stations

Biophilic design elements within the work station reduce stress and boost productivity. They also provide a welcome alternative to staring at a computer screen or cubicle wall.

Floors, ceilings, and walls

From hanging plants to skylights and statement ceiling designs to circadian lighting installations, the ceiling provides an open canvas for biophilic elements. Similarly, both walls and flooring designs can incorporate uniquely biophilic design characteristics such as natural stone, wood, forest floors, greenery and more.

Collaborative areas

The best collaboration happens when fresh ideas are shared. Biophilic design fosters such ideation.

Learn more about biophilic design

Get access to an in-depth analysis of the Biophilic Design Trends from some of the industry's foremost design experts.

Learn why workplace wellbeing isn't just about design.

How powerful is biophilic design for architects and designers in organizations with corporate cultures that promote empowerment?

Discover our line of scents inspired by nature.

The power of nature can have a significant positive impact on healthcare environments. Learn more here.

One of the most profound drivers of change in the hospitality industry today is the incorporation of biophilic design.