In the first of our guest posts from supporters and contributors to our Workplace Trends London Conference on 17 October 2018, Vanessa Champion of Argenta Wellness takes a look at biophilia for the workplace and in healthcare.
For many of you reading this article, you’ll likely know all about it, or at least have heard the terms “biophilia” or “biophilic design” used in various magazines or newspapers, in fact I see it’s recently been covered in media outlets as random as NBC and the Daily Mail.
Companies like yours and mine, if you subscribe to these wonderful Workplace Trends updates, know the huge benefits that nature, biophilic and human-centric design can bring, not only to our health and wellbeing but also to companies’ staff retention and bottom lines. And it is also likely that you, like us, are creating some amazing spaces and transforming lives.
At Argenta Wellness, we were established after witnessing first hand, the total difference a simple image of nature made in an NHS isolation ward. From a view of a grey messy pinboard, dustbin and clock, the patient’s view was transformed into a vista of calm and beauty. Doctors and nurses commented on what a positive and refreshing difference it made, and were amazed that the print could be cleaned and was hospital grade. I suppose they were used to Ikea prints that harbour dust and the subject matter of New York taxis in a traffic jam is not that appropriate for inducing calmness and wellbeing! As founder of our company, I now have a personal bee in my bonnet to bring nature into every NHS in the country. If you would like to join us on this journey, let’s talk!
The thing is, while I am talking with heads of procurement for acute care wards, it is the administration staff and also other suppliers who are approaching us to bring biophilic enhancements into their offices too. Knowing the value and understanding the qualitative evidence-based research that has been done on biophilic design in workplaces and hospitals has been key in unlocking interest and sales. It’s not all pretty pictures and pricing.
I honestly don’t think it will be long before Jo Public will start sharing and shouting #biophilia from the rooftops, Instagramming like mad and over-taking #hygge and #lagom as the new must-have trendy term. The important thing though, is for us as professionals and pioneers of biophilic design to ensure that people are educated properly, that they understand what it is, what types of images make a difference, what lighting is best, what shapes and spaces make for happier homes and workplaces. Events such as these inspirational conferences run by Workplace Trends, bring us all together, one big voice and a strong movement to make people’s lives better. Our company is one piece in the biophilic jigsaw puzzle, which is why we work with designers, innovators, disruptors and other suppliers, together we can make a bigger positive impact.
I am learning all the time, and I am excited how future workplaces will look, heartened by media coverage of the benefits of biophilia, although they are churning out the same quotes from EO Wilson. Maybe there is a need for a “standard” in biophilic design? I’d be on the board like a shot!
Guest post by Vanessa Champion of Argenta Wellness
Photo copyright Vanessa Champion.