Altro and biophilic design

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What is Biophilia?

The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and nature.  Edward O. Wilson introduced and popularized the hypothesis in his book, Biophilia (1984). He defines biophilia as "the urge to affiliate with other forms of life.”  It has since been expanded to include all forms of the natural environment, from plants and trees to rocks, sand and earth. 

Biophilia can be overt – wood tones and images of nature.  It can also be more subtle such as natural themes incorporated into building or product design.   

Image comparing spiral staircase design to a seashell

Benefits of Biophilia

The benefits of biophilic design are clear.  Studies have shown that exposure to nature and natural images can help with the healing process, reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and improve mood.  

In healthcare this is of exceptional importance.  Patients whose windows overlooked natural sceneries were released after 7.96 days, compared to the 8.71 days it took for patients who looked at brick walls. (1)  In terms of dollars and cents, this means patient care costs could have been reduced by as much $161,000 if patients were released just one day sooner. (2)

Green building programs like LEED and the Well Building Standard offer credits for projects that take advantage of these type of design elements.  

Biophilia even benefits the workplace. Studies have shown that staff problems that can be attributed to poor interior design include staff illness, absenteeism, retention, and overall job performance. With good, biophilic interior design these issues are minimized by 10 percent. (3) In any business employees are one of the most costly expenses and any way a business can reduce absenteeism and improve productivity is worth its weight in gold.

Altro and biophilic design

Altro has made biophilic design a part of its design process of some of our newer products, from the overtly natural designs in our Altro Wood Collection to a subtler influence in our new colors of Altro Aquarius.

These 16 shades have been developed with comfort, warmth and relaxation in mind to make the bathing experience more enjoyable and avoiding the clinical feel that some home-from-home environments create. Inspired by nature, the 16 appealing tones draw on elements found in natural objects such as pebbles, shells, and stone.   

Image depicting rocks in comparison to matching Altro flooring swatches

 1 Ulric, 1984.
 2 Machlin & Carper 2007.
 3 Elzeyadi, 2011.

Richard Finnegan, Marketing Manager, LEED Green Associate 

Discover more:

Color inspiration from nature
Color trends in interior design

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Posted: 3/2/2017 2:23:13 PM by Jesse Wade | with 0 comments