The Shard stands out in the London skyline at just over 1,000 feet tall. The structure is made from 11,000 panels of glass and topped by it’s iconic “broken glass” roofline, from which it gains its name. The building is a testament to the power of man-made design, with all its sharp edges, steel, and glass. But venture inside the Shard to the 12th floor and you’ll find a whole different design aesthetic that’s embracing nature.
Welcome to the “Living Lab”
The 12th floor of the Shard has become a biophilic design masterpiece. The biophilic design principle seeks to integrate nature into man-made spaces, with the idea that humans have an innate need to connect to nature. London-based design studio Daewha Kang Design created the Living Lab for a top facility management company housed on the 12th floor. Designers wanted to take the principles of biophilic design and create an elegant, functional area for work. Some of the design elements they used include:
- A circadian lighting system that’s in tune with the body’s natural internal clock and subtly shifts through the day.
- Color palettes inspired by nature, including warm wood tones and bright spring grasses.
- Living nature directly integrated into workspaces, such as with live plants growing in desks.
- Privacy screens made from bamboo and other natural materials that enclose the space from floor to ceiling.
The overall effect of the biophilic design is a warm, welcoming space that works in harmony with the company’s integrated technology. It also embraces the sweeping views of London out the windows.
The Purpose of this Biophilic Design Experiment
The Daewha Kang group created the Living Lab with an express goal in mind. They wanted to be able to measure the impact of biophilic design on workers. This includes their productivity and a general sense of well-being. The firm is measuring the impact of the design on productivity by using a control center located on the same floor. The control center uses a similar aesthetic without the biophilic design elements. Workers will rotate through the two spaces every four weeks, while the design firm measures productivity in both. Employees will also take daily surveys that provide feedback to the design team.
The hope is that Daewha Kang can prove what much anecdotal and scientific evidence has already suggested: that biophilic design can help boost productivity and well-being in workspaces.
How to Incorporate Biophilic Design in Your Space
More and more companies are integrating biophilic design into their offices. This includes Etsy headquarters in New York and well as many offices around the Boston area. Companies are receiving positive responses from those using the spaces every day and seeing the benefits of integrated nature. Bringing nature into your space can help reduce stress and create a more efficient workplace, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to do. You can integrate biophilic design principles without completely overhauling the design of your office. Small changes can start to make a big impact on employee health and happiness. Start to integrate more nature into your space with the help of an experience biophilic designer. They can help you with projects such as:
- Plantscapes which are custom-designed for your office.
- Living walls that add interest, color, and nature to your office.
- Living art pieces strategically placed in your space to enhance the atmosphere.
Use these projects as a starting point and see the positive impact it can make on your office.
Cityscapes can help you find the right biophilic solutions for your office. Get in touch with our team today to set up a design assessment and to learn more about the work we do to help bring nature into man-made spaces.