Although biophilic design has become a staple of many modern offices, the history of bringing the outdoors inside spans decades.
The term “biophilia” was popularized in the 1984 book aptly named “Biophilia” by biologist Edward O. Wilson, who explained that humans have an innate need to be connected with nature.
During the mid-twentieth century, corporations established in large cities began exploring rural areas for more space and cheaper cost of operating. By creating scenic university-like campuses, these companies entered into an era of social awareness that melded nature and work.
The basis of this type of design is still popular today, with companies like Apple and Google now being known for their sprawling, amenity-rich campuses across cities and suburbs.
While some of these campuses still remain in the center of bustling metropolitan areas, some companies have accessed the benefits of surrounding the office in nature.
For instance, while Amazon recently announced its second headquarters would be located in Arlington, Virginia, the $2.5 billion campus will feature an outdoor amphitheater, public green space, with the double helix centerpiece being covered in plants.
“The natural beauty of a double helix can be seen throughout our world, from the geometry of our own DNA to the elemental form of galaxies, weather patterns, pinecones, and seashells,” said Jeff Bezos, former CEO and founder of Amazon.
Biophilic design has maintained mainstream success and could be ushering in a new approach referred to as salutogenic design. This refers to the links between stress and physical and mental health