According to Oliver Heath Design, Biophilia (meaning love of nature) is a term that describes the human’s innate attraction to nature. It suggests that we all have a genetic connection to nature and natural processes through hundreds of thousands of years of living in agrarian settings.
In an increasingly fast paced world, biophilic designs have become popular among homeowners. In fact, with high rates of migration to urban environments in major cities across the globe, connecting with nature and creating green spaces has never been more important for our well-being.
The World Health Organisation has conducted a study in which they concluded that by the end of 2020, stress related illness, such as mental health disorders and cardio-vascular disease, will be the two largest contributors to disease. With the growth of urban environments and diminished connection to nature, as well as our technology-filled lives, it has never been more important than today to re-center our focus around our physical and mental states.
You may be asking yourself how architectural design can help your mental health. Recent studies have shown that incorporating natural materials into your environment can reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, all while increasing productivity, creativity and self reported rates of well-being.
Keep reading to learn about easy ways you can create biophilic designs in your outdoor space.
Incorporating natural materials
In 14 Patterns of Biophilic Design, Bill Browning, an environmental designer and founder of Terrapin Bright Green, cites “material connection with nature” as a significant principle. In other words, natural materials can be used to reflect the local geology and connect people to green spaces. However, real stones can be difficult to maintain which is why there are many natural stone look-alikes on the market that offer that real stone appearance with more durability. Pave your outdoor space with a Blu 60 Slate, or a Borealis patio slab for the full nature experience!
The soothing sound of a trickling waterfall
Water features are another great way to incorporate nature into your backyard. In fact, water has long been used to add a relaxing element in green spaces. Studies have shown that water enhances positive feelings, feelings that are amplified if the water is flowing, or if individuals can touch and interact with the water. These features are also great at shutting out any surrounding noise, allowing you to experience nature as its fullest. There are many options for you to choose from on the market. You can either select a pre-assembled waterfall, or design a custom one with the use of retaining wall stones.
Featured product: Graphix retaining wall
Connecting with nature means protecting it
The whole point of connecting with nature is to value it. In doing so, the goal is to protect it. There are many different eco-friendly paving options on the market that allow you to dress up your green space without compromising its well-being. Permeable pavers, for example, were designed to allow for the proper percolation of surface water into the ground; reducing the risk and severity of flooding, eliminating puddles, speeding up the melting process of snow, reduced winter ice hazards and cost-savings on de-icing salt and snow removal. Discover our Aquastorm permeable paver, for example. This grass paver is aesthetically pleasing and shares your eco-friendly values. There’s no need to compromise style with your saving-the-planet values!
Featured product: Aquastorm paver
Gardening is in!
Nothing says green space more than a garden. Experience nature at its finest by planting and growing flowers, plants and creating a backyard oasis. You can even grow some vegetables and herbs and save on grocery runs! Step up your architectural design game by installing a pergola, or keep it simple by installing a hammock among the trees, or a reading chair and enjoy hours of tranquility in your green environment. Feeling relaxed?
Feature product: Maya stepping stone
Sit down by the fire
For the complete experience of nature, install a fire pit in your backyard. This addition to your green space will make you feel like you’re by a campfire in the great outdoors. Incorporate natural materials, such as our natural stones or our wood look-alike Borealis fire pit to enhance your biophilic design. Tell scary stories, roast some marshmallows and look up at the starry night sky for hours on end.
The whole point of biophilic design is to help you experience nature at its fullest and to make you feel as though you are in the great outdoors, all with the help of clever architectural design. In the high-paced society we live in nowadays, it’s important to unplug and connect with nature. Whether it’s taking 30 minutes out of your schedule to nap in the garden, or read a book by the waterfall, it doesn’t take much to create biophilia designs and to take care of our mental and physical states.
Now that you're inspired, view our catalog to discover our wide selection of landscape stones!