An Introduction to Biophilic Design

Biophilia is a ‘love of life or living systems’. It’s our inherent human connection to the natural world. In an urban world of technology and industrial architecture, this fundamental connection can sometimes feel all but lost. Biophilic design is an innovative way to harness this affinity in order to create natural environments for us to live, work and learn. By consciously including nature in interior or architectural design, we are unconsciously reconnecting, bringing the great outdoors into our constructed world.

As pioneers in sustainability, Interface advocates biophilic design and knows it is critical to human health to include natural systems and processes in our buildings and constructed landscapes. Over 50 studies worldwide, including our Human Spaces Report with psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, have proven the positive effects nature or environments that mimic nature have on overall health and well-being.

What are the benefits of Biophilic Design?

An environment devoid of nature can have a negative effect on health, productivity and well-being. This is particularly important in the corporate office.
Ill health and lack of well-being can result in poor performance and productivity, lost work time and increased costs. In the United States, absenteeism costs employers an average of $2,074 per employee, per year. In the UK, work-related stress accounts for 35% of ill health and 43% of absenteeism, costing organizations an estimated £29 billion a year.

There is a direct correlation between clever work space design and improved employee well-being and performance. Even simple changes to incorporate nature in the workplace can have a huge impact on how employees feel when they come to work, and how happy, creative and productive they feel when they are working.

Our aim is to elevate a biophilic approach to the design of work environments higher on to the global corporate agenda.

Get Inspired by Biophilic Design

Biophilic design is incorporating nature into our built environment and designing inspirational and restorative places that connect humans to their surroundings.

Not every space can be designed to incorporate all the principles of biophilic design, but there are often many contributory elements that will collectively enhance the interior and the well-being of those within it. It’s more than just the addition of a potted plant or two. Natural light, vegetation, living walls, natural textures and materials and nature views will provide a positive impact. Terrapin Bright Green has broken it down into 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design.

Interface explores the power of biophilic inspired designs through product collections that directly mimic natural surfaces and textures. Looking for inspiration? Visit our Pinterest board to discover more examples of biophilic design.

Biophilic Design Research

Biophilic design affects the way we feel, work and create. Design that connects us to nature is proven to inspire us, boost our productivity and even contribute to a stronger sense of well-being.

Get an understanding of how with the by downloading one or both of our peer-reviewed Human Spaces reports, "The Global Impact of Biophilic Design in the Workplace” and “Biophilic Design in Hospitality". Or explore these additional studies that include more specialized areas of interest.


Learning from nature to create modern design solutions is called biomimicry. At Interface, we take inspiration from nature’s genius to create more sustainable products, processes and systems. An example of this concept is i2®, an innovative approach to flooring design.
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