Welcome to our podcast series from the Journal of Biophilic Design, where we interview workplace consultants, futurists, interior designers, architects, urban planners and those working in healthcare, wellbeing and other industries to find out the latest on Biophilic Design. www.argentawellness.com
Future Workplaces - A Human-centric Holistic View
Shouldn't all employees be catered for when planning and designing a workspace? Oliver Baxter, based in Dubai, is one of a team of three who make up the Herman Miller Insight Group, their focus is holistic and human-centric. In our podcast we discuss biophilic design but also especially now, how intuition when planning workspaces is no longer appropriate, it has to be used on research, on evidence. Aligning this with actually catering for what your people actually "NEED" to do their job. Oli suggests that companies might do well to take a step back, when planning their workspaces. It should it be about catering for everybody, knee-jerk reactions are no longer appropriate as people's lives are on the line, and we need to consider the decisions we are making now. There are many biophilic elements companies can bring into their workplace from plants to natural materials and desk positioning. Did you know if you sleep within 6 metres of natural source of daylight you'll sleep 45 minutes longer at night? Did you know we are only sat at a desk and a chair of 30% of our time on average in the workplace and meeting rooms are generally 3 times too big? All that wasted real estate! How will this all change after Covid? This and other useful insights are in this podcast, filmed over Zoom between the UK and Dubai.
Living in Harmony with the Earth
How can we as Biophilic consultants embrace the Five Elements of Feng Shui to further understand our environment we live and work in, how we relate to our spaces and also how living more intuitively with the elements of nature can make a difference to our wellbeing, future planning, confidence and actually getting off our backsides and doing something. Another fascinating conversation with Luminous Spaces founder, Maureen Calamia, who has developed a practice of Biophilic Design based on the 5 Elements. This is such a fascinating podcast, listen as she explains what the characteristics are of the different elements, how they connect with the earth, air, and us and how you can apply this learning to your own life and help you take the next steps in your own personal journey.
She explains what the different elements are: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and how we can have greater wellbeing by considering the harmony of all these elements and realising how we are intrinsically connected to this harmony and these elements in nature.
If you missed our previous podcast with Maureen be sure to check it out here, or search for it on Amazon Music, Apple iTunes or wherever you subscribe to your podcasts.
Take her quiz online and have look around her site. She is running courses on Feng Shui and also Biophilic Design. She has written a new article for us on The Ancient and The Modern, how the 5 Elements can be harnessed to enhance Biophilic Design practice.
Buy her book Creating Luminous Spaces: Use the Five Elements for Balance and Harmony in your Home.
Biophilic Design and Em'play'ees
Can play really transform our workplaces? Do we need it more than ever? Niklas Madsen is founder of Superlab, an experimental design laboratory with a main goal to study the future workplace and furniture design of tomorrow. Their book "Playful Office - the future office philosophy that will turn employees into employees' kickstarted an innovative journey, researching the benefits of creative play in the office, allowing free thought to flow in the workforce as well as engendering solutions and wellbeing for companies they work with. They are also now exploring AI and other digital tools to help transform spaces for people. Combining that with biophilic solutions has created some really interesting spaces, that encourage staff retention and productivity.
Oliver Heath - Creating Happiness with Biophilic Design
Oliver Heath’s name is synonymous with biophilic design, his appearances on TV and his extensive experience using biophilia in interior design and architecture has positioned him as a leading light in bringing nature and elements of nature into our spaces to improve our wellbeing, health, creativity, productivity and as he says here “happiness”. Biophilic design principles allow us to bring elements of nature into the built environment, especially into those places where we experience a great deal of stress. Our connection to nature can unlock so many benefits, stress washes off us, we become different people, we can think more holistically about our life and where it’s going. The impact the buildings we inhabit and work in have an enormous effect on our lives, especially now with the restrictions placed on us as a result of the Covid epidemic. With an onset of almost cabin fever, we are recognising the fact that the building we surround ourselves with has a huge impact on our physical, mental and emotional states. Nature can play a valuable role, the benefits of plants and greenery, adding personalisation, direct influence over a space, improve air quality, sunlight, fresh air, easy to improve spaces. Sensory elements, how we move in the space, acoustics, thermal issues. easy to engage with, satisfying. If you want to create healthier spaces have a listen to this excellent podcast or watch the video on our YouTube Channel and and see how we can use human centred and biophilic design to make a phenomenal difference to your home, your work, your life and our planet.
There are four free Design Guides which he mentions on the video podcast, to download these excellent free resources go to: https://www.oliverheath.com/resources/ They are also launching a new Biophilic Design course, how to integrate Biophilic Design into their home. Sign up on their website to be among the first to register.
Technobiophilia - Nature and Wellbeing in the Digital Age
Can technology and nature go hand in hand, can we use technology to embrace nature? If so, how? Technobiophilia is a new term coined by writer and researcher Sue Thomas. We speak with her about her book of the same name and also about Nature, Wellbeing in the Digital Age. Quotidian use of our device interaction throws up the most surprising benefits it seems, who would have thought that Grand Theft Auto or FarmVille would give us a potential escape route after work into nature, or how nature found its way into our metaphorical library to be an unspoken lexicon for cyberspace terminology. When we use our devices we step into another world, another geography even. Allowing ourselves the grace to embrace technology could provide a transition or an accessible portal for us to enter into the natural world. We talk webcams, Blue Mind, AVs in healthcare, screen savers, the geography of cyberspace and environmental psychology. An interesting and thought-provoking listen to anyone working with nature in their practice, from urban planning to architecture and interior design.
Biophilia - A handbook for bringing the Natural World into your Life
Sally Coulthard, designer and best selling author writes a great column for Country Living “Good Life in the Country.” Her recent book “Biophilia" - You, Nature, Home” is a ‘Handbook for bringing the natural world into your life’ and is one of the most beautifully crafted books I’ve read for years. It feels like you are holding nature in your hands. I was thrilled to interview her and get her take on Biophilia, why it’s important today, why cities and buildings should be weaving biophilic elements into their interior designs and urban planning. We chat about the interconnectedness of nature and our lives, how biophilia embraces many aspects and has many benefits not only from an aesthetic point of view but also environmental and on a more profound level as it reduces negative issues such as stress and improves positive aspects like helping sleep, air quality, nervous systems. The science is overwhelming.
Personally it was also lovely to speak with someone who has a similar interest to me in anthropology and archaeology which she read at Oxford, I read Classics at UCL. Both backgrounds have given us a desire to understand how society organises themselves, and how we relate to nature and the world around us.