A Brief Introduction to Biophilic Design

If you’re anything like me, sitting indoors all day with no access to natural light is really the worst work arrangement possible. My current work arrangement has me at a desk looking out to a nice view of trees and sky. Unfortunately, in many offices and for many employees, access to nature is just not possible.

Biophilia and Biophilic Design

Biophilia refers to the idea that humans have an instinctive bond with nature. Biophilic Design takes that bond and strives to bring it into places where a there is separation between humans and nature. Sterile office environments that are essentially nothing but a lit cave are prime candidates for Biophilic Design.

I’ve written about offices which add plants, are naturally lit, and have many windows before, but there are actually quite a few more areas where Biophilia can be present in an office environment:

  • Visual Connection with Nature
  • Non-visual Connection with Nature
  • Non-rhythmic Sensory Stimuli
  • Access to Thermal & Airflow Variability
  • Presence of Water
  • Dynamic & Diffuse Daylight
  • Connection with Natural Systems


But what can you do in an office with no natural light or access to it? The Sky Factory is one company working to bring Biophilic Design into the mainstream through the use of Luminous SkyCeilings, which are used to “mitigate stress and fatigue, improve cognitive function and productivity, and improve wellness in offices devoid of daylight.”

And what would such SkyCeilings look like? Well, you’re in luck. Some of The Sky Factory’s clients include companies like Microsoft and Suez.

What does your office do to connect you with nature?