Biophilic Design | Bringing Nature into The Office

 

DIRTT

 “The relationships between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment.” 

 

Bill Browning’s 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design

Biophilia, not a new concept, has been gaining a lot of traction among proponents of sustainable design. The premise behind the biophilic design is to incorporate aspects of nature into products and built environments to enhance our health, well-being, and productivity.

 

What is Biophilia and Biophilic Design?

 

Biophilia suggests that there is a natural bond between human beings and other living systems. Biophilic Design takes that bond and aims to bring it into spaces where there is a separation between humans and nature. How can you bring that alliance into your office space? We all at some point have worked in a barren office space with no windows, filled with fluorescent light and no living plants in sight. In this article, we want to bring you some ideas that could help you in creating an office space that will help you connect with nature and enjoy your work experience

 

Let’s take a look at 3 ideas that you can implement:

 

 1. ADD A LIVING WALL

Sometimes bringing natural light through regular windows might not be possible but a skylight might help you bring the illusion of nature into your space. There is a company called Skyfactory that provides affordable ceiling and wall installations.

Choose soft furnishings, like the one shown above by Kimball Office, with patterns inspired by nature. Incorporate more diverse colours and textures and tone when selecting carpets, rugs, wallpaper and wall paint. Interface flooring is one company that is currently offering some terrific options to help you create a nature-inspired space.

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Living plants are always a great way to bring nature inside your office. Not only do they provide a natural element to the environment and enhance the aesthetic value of the office, interior plants can also provide sound absorption, have air filtering qualities, absorb toxins in the atmosphere and can improve humidity. One company you need to check out is DIRTT Walls. They provide beautiful living wall solutions.

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 2. BUILD A SKYVIEW

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 3. UPDATE YOUR FURNITURE AND INTERIOR MATERIAL ELEMENTS

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To read more about Biophilic design, we have compiled some good resources for you:

 

Terrapin Bright Green

Human Scapes

Interface Blog

 

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Photo by Interface 

Photo by Interface 

Photo by Kimbal Office

Photo by Kimbal Office

 

Congrats to Kimball Office

innovation lab

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What’s your style? Top Five Interior Design Styles

Sometimes when we are trying to determine what is our style, we can certainly come up with many different interpretations. By chance, we came across this infographic which we thought was pretty cool and to the point. Even though the pictures are geared more towards home environments, the descriptions could be applied to any space. What’s your style?

Top Five Interior Design Styles

 

Founded at Freshome

7 iPad Apps for Architects and General Contractors: National Architect Week, Day 5

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During National Architect Week, we wanted to take a look at how digital technology is helping the industry go paperless. Although still in its infancy, tablets and compatible applications for the day-to-day work of architects and contractors, are growing.

Ryan Sutton-Gee, CEO of PlanGrid, noted in this TechCrunch article that the tablet is basically the first computer that is truly usable in the field. As a result apps are already starting to be rapidly adopted allowing construction companies to:

  • Say goodbye to blueprints
  • Improve analytics to manage team efficiency in the field
  • Improve communication between the construction team and architect

 

Below are 7 iPad apps useful for both architects and general contractors interested in transitioning to a paperless workflow.

  • AutoCAD© WS – View and edit DWG files wherever you are on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android smartphone or tablet with a powerful set of mobile design tools.
  • Bentley Navigator for the iPad – Gives a 360-degree view of 3-D design models. Using iPad’s motion sensors and touch screens, you will not only get panoramic views but also get object properties. For example, you can determine the thickness of the pipe, or its paint color, or the pressure rating.
  • PlanGrid – Store, view, manage and share your blueprints on the iPad.
  • Procore for iPhone and iPad – Includes a punch list tool, photos and daily log.
  • TOTAL for iPad (formerly DaVinci) – The first field app for appraisers on the iPad. Filling out onsite inspection forms is done with a few taps of your finger, and every data gathering screen is completely customizable to fit individual workflow.
  • Construction Punchlist for iPad – Stores plans on the iPad, annotates plans with the touch of a finger, and automatically generates site visit reports and emails reports on the fly.
  • OnSite PlanRoom for iPad – Review and share plans and construction documents, all from the convenience of your iPad.

 

    Do you have any favorite apps that help you do your job as an architect or contractor? 

    DESIGN CONNECTS – Don’t forget to visit the AIA website for more information about how you can participate in National Architecture Week .

7 Video Interviews with Famous Architects: National Architecture Week, Day 4

Architecture is one of those creative industries where the work not only speaks for itself, it is long-standing and long-lasting – making it imperative that the architect connect his/her designs capably with the environment as well as for the people it is designed. For National Architecture Week we have chosen a few architects we believe more than accomplish this these challenges. If you too are inspired by the works of these fascinating talents, you are sure to enjoy the up-close and personal interviews below.

Frank Lloyd Wright

In this documentary, Wright talks about life, culture, and organic architecture (1962)

“I’ve been accused of saying “I” was the greatest architect in the world and if I had said so, I don’t think it would be very arrogant because I don’t believe there are many, if any. For 500 years what we call architecture has been phony in the sense that it was not innate it was not organic. It didn’t have the character of nature. A building should be natural appropriate to the the time. Appropriate to the place.” – Frank Lloyd Wright


 

I.M. Pei

At 92, Chinese-American I. M. Pei, was named The 2010 Royal Gold Medallist. This 10 minute film is an edited version of the 35 minute film shown in lieu of a traditional lecture at his request. It features a personal interview and examples of his work over five decades.

“I have always been fascinated by the West.” – I. M. Pei


 

Le Corbusier

Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier, was famous for being one of the pioneers of what is now called modern architecture. A student of modern high design he was dedicated to providing better living conditions for the residents of crowded cities.

 

Zaha Hadid

The first woman to win the Pritzker Prize for Architecture in its 26 year history, Zaha Hadid defined a radically new approach to architecture by creating buildings with multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life.

In this interview with Maison & Objet in 2008 after being named the erhielt sie den Titel “Designer of The Year,” Hadid discusses the concept of a creating a fluid world in the sense that there is no boundary for people to move from space to another.

 

Renzo Piano

Piano, an Italian Pritzker Prize-winning architect describes the building site as a magical place where the art of construction takes place and reminds us that building architecture lasts a long time.

An architect is always connected to the past and he is always connected to the future. You need the past because you need the memory, but you need invention as well. I’m very grateful for tradition, but at the same time, I hate tradition. –Renzo Piano


 

Frank Gehry

A living legend, Frank Gehry has forged his own language of architecture, creating astonishing buildings all over the world, such as the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, and Manhattan’s new IAC building.

For me, every day is a new thing. I approach each project with a new insecurity, almost like the first project I ever did, and I get the sweats, I go in and start working, I’m not sure where I’m going.” – Frank Gehry

Jacques Herzog

Interviewed by The New York Times Jacques Herzog of Herzog and de Meuron discusses the concept of instincts within architecture and ponders whether repetition is considered evil.

Work that strikes me makes me aware of the place or the landscape and then it makes me aware of myself. – Jaques Herzog

Click here to see view Herzog’s interview.
 
These are just a few of our favorites. You can find more interesting interviews with architects here. Who are your favorite architects?

DESIGN CONNECTS – Don’t forget to visit the AIA website for more information about how you can participate in National Architecture Week .

 

New Materials for Architecture and Design: National Architecture Week, Day 3

We’re always excited about trends and new materials for architecture and design and what more perfect time to highlight some of our favorites than during National Architecture Week?

It seems even the most unrefined technologies find their way into furniture design and manufacturing. New materials can improve the sustainability of a project as well as give it flair. Even finding new uses for natural materials – such as using seaweed for insulation – has become popular in recent years.

Below are a few examples of varying materials, from metals, to glass to fabrics, that you might be able to use in your next project:

 

Metals

Aero is made of flexible sheets of corrugated and anodized aluminum. From Forms + Surfaces.

 

Glass

SentryGlas® by DuPont is a structural glass with ionoplast interlayers. It is hurricane and bomb resistant, and can be made to be “UV-breathable”.

SCHOTT Magira® LightPoints is a light-emitting (LED) laminated glass.

Livingglass embeds organic materials into their glass.

Smart Glass a.k.a. electrochromatic or privacy glass, uses electrical current to control the glass’ opacity. There are a variety of manufacturers to choose from.

Lumisty Film is similar to Smart Glass, except it changes opacity based on the proximity of the viewer. From Glass Film Enterprises.

 

Concrete

Translucent Concrete allows light to pass through without compromising structural integrity. Available from LiTraCon. A more recent innovation by Luccon adds optical fibers for even more dramatic effects.

Ductal® Ultra High Performance Concrete made by Lafarge has 6-8x strength of traditional fiber-reinforced concrete for even more creative applications.

 

External Panels

Parklex Facade are high-density stratified wood panels for external use.

Trespa Meteon are architectural panels for external use.

 

Fabrics

Knoll Imago Frozen Fabrics combines the strength and flexibility of resin with the translucency, texture, and color of textiles.

 

Ceilings

Topo 3D by USG can add depth and dimension to ceilings by giving it a topographic look.

 

Walls

Environmental architectural walls by DIRTT are de-mountable and recyclable and their latest innovation, Breathe, incorporates plants into the walls.

 

Insulation

Aerogel is 99.8% air, looks like glass, insulates better than mineral wool and is more heat resistant than aluminum. An aerogel  product by Cabot called Lumira is an insulation that can be used in all types of construction projects.

Much like office furniture, the materials used make a difference in the finished look. The talent and expertise come in knowing when and how to use them. In addition to the ones we’ve highlighted above, be sure to check out our Construction Material Pinterest Board as we continue to add to it periodically.

Check out the following great resources to stay on top of the most recent material trends:

Materia – a knowledge centre for developments and innovations in materials, and their applications for architecture and design.

Transmaterial: A Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment by Blaine Brownell, Transmaterial 2: An Updated Catalog of Materials That Redefine our Physical Environment by Blaine Brownell, and the Transmaterial website – dedicated to providing information about the latest and most intriguing materials commercially available.

Made Of: New Materials Sourcebook for Architecture and Design by Christiane Sauer

DESIGN CONNECTS – Don’t forget to visit the AIA website for more information about how you can participate in National Architecture Week .

Organic Architecture: National Architecture Week, Day 2

Design connects a structure to its environment and this week we are kicking off National Architecture Week with some of our favorite examples of organic architecture from around the world.

Organic architecture according to Frank Lloyd Wright, is more about symbiosis with the surrounding environment, honest design and a respect for natural materials. While the following examples may not adhere perfectly to Wright’s original definition, we find them all amazing in their own right.

 

Click larger images below to Pin on Pinterest.

 

Source: azahner.com via Business Interiors on Pinterest

Source: dezeen.com via Business Interiors on Pinterest

Check out these images and more on the Business Interiors Pinterest page.

DESIGN CONNECTS – Don’t forget to visit the AIA website for more information about how you can participate in National Architecture Week .