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Biophilic Design: A “Natural” Glazing Option

Nature exists in us, it arises from the constitution of our being, since the beginning of time. Humans need nature and it heals us. This philosophy bore biophilic design theory in 1984 by famed biologist E.O. Wilson.

Wilson published his hypothesis, that humans had “the urge to affiliate with other forms of life” in his book, Biophilia. Since then the discussion has grown via countless studies that have further shown the benefit and correlation between the incorporation of nature within occupied spaces and positive human outcomes.

In simple terms, these studies have demonstrated that patients in hospitals with views to nature rather than a brick wall heal faster, further, patients that are able to “interact with nature” take less pain killers. Employees were found on average 10% more productive when they were provided with natural light or the opportunity to experience nature from their work space. Additional studies show that they also take fewer sick days.

Architecture has expanded the idea of biophilic design. By incorporating creative solutions, sensory elements, or incorporating contextual natural elements into interior spaces either subtly or blatantly. There are many ways to incorporate biophilic design into your space including:

1. Daylighting and Views

Borden Park Pavilion, Edmonton, Vitrum Glass Group
Office of Jacanda Travel, London, England

2. Natural Plants / Elements

Al Maktoum Airport in Dubai, Jetex VIP Lounge, by Bluehaus Group*
Space Encounters, Amsterdam*

3. Wayfinding

Seattle Children’s Hospital, ZGF Architects, Panolam Surface Systems*
Escalate Digital Branding Agency, Dublin, Ireland*

4. Imagery

Rendering: Dentist’s office, Vitrum Glass Group, Digitally Printed Glass
Rendering: Government Municipal Office, Vitrum Glass Group, Digitally Printed Glass
Project unknown, photo courtesy of Mahala Office Furniture, Pittsburgh, PA*

*Please note that not all of these projects were completed by Vitrum Glass Group, however they are stunning examples of the types of projects we are capable of undertaking.

Biophilia clearly demonstrates that humans have an innate emotional connection to nature. It is difficult to find a counter-argument. If bringing a little bit of nature indoors will lift the spirit of those within, why wouldn’t we choose to do it?

If you would like to explore further design options, please visit our design catalog at https://www.vitrum.ca/design-catalog/.

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