Individual perspective on what constitutes the ‘beauty of nature’ can vary. We will have personal aesthetic experiences and reactions to elements of the natural world, but scientific research proves it is psychologically and physiologically fundamental for us to feel part of it on a regular basis. We need to connect to the natural environment. According to Terrapin Bright Green’s ‘14 Patterns of Biophilic Design’, Nature in the Space takes into account the parts of design that give us direct physical contact with nature from within an interior. By working the first of the three groups of patterns of biophilia in to our office or workplace design, we are bringing real elements of nature into our urban domain. It allows us to use all five senses to create an experimental space.
The sensorial connections with these natural elements, particularly through diversity, movement and multisensory interactions, are defined as:
1. Visual Connection with Nature – Stimulating views to elements of nature, living systems and natural processes; such as a window with a garden or sea view, potted plants, flower-beds, courtyard gardens, green walls and green roofs.
2. Non-Visual Connection with Nature – Often undervalued design interactions that stimulate our other senses of sound, touch, smell and taste to remind us of our connection to nature.
3. Non-Rhythmic Sensory Stimuli – The rich sensory stimuli of nature in consistent, yet unpredictable, motion; such as the gentle sway of grasses or leaves in a breeze, or ripples on water.
4. Thermal & Airflow Variability – The subtle changes in air and surface temperature, humidity and airflow across the skin that mimic natural environments.
5. Presence of Water – To see, hear or touch it.
6. Dynamic & Diffuse Light – Clever use of light and shadow to mimic the lighting conditions or circadian processes occurring in nature.
7. Connection with Natural Systems – An awareness or proximity to natural processes, such as seasonal changes, reminding us of the process of healthy ecosystems.