Since 2000, Clare Pascoe has been delivering ahead of trend, award winning interior, championing Mid Century style, the Best of British & Sustainable Design long before they were fashionable. So earlier in the year we took some time to have a Q&A session with Clare about a topic close to her profession; Biophilic design.
Where did biophilic design come from?
Biophilic design is thought of as a relatively new idea, in part because it has come to the fore as a current interior trend due to how plants within your living or working environment can go some way to cancelling out the negative elements of our increasingly digital lives; however it dates back to a 1973 when it appeared in Erich Fromm’s book “The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness”; then later reaffirmed in the 1980’s by American Biologist Edward Wilson.
Our current focus on Biophilic design stems from an overwhelming awareness and frustration at the ecological problems we humans are inflicting on the world; by surrounding ourselves with nature, we reap the physical and emotional benefits that aligning ourselves with plants & nature offers.
What are the benefits of biophilic design?
Cleaner air, reduced stress, improved cognitive and creative ability & output, and a connection with nature to counterbalance the negative influences of an increasingly digital world.
In your experience, what has been the greatest use of biophilic design?
The mass appeal and resurgence of the practice of Biophilic design has to be it’s greatest use today. The fact that so many people are aware of the practice allows everyone to embrace the benefits as it takes very little time and investment to introduce plants into your home to start reaping the aesthetic and health benefits.
Biophilia is set to be the big interior design trend of 2020, how do you think the trend will develop?
Trends tend to focus on aesthetic styles, colour palettes and design genres that will wane over time. Biophilia is more of a lifestyle enhancement – in the same way that welcoming natural light into our homes has physical and emotional health benefits, over and above whether it’s fashionable to do. The trend associated with biophilic design will revolve around the style of plants used – in 2018 living walls were de rigueur; in 2019 it was all about tumbling succulents and houseplants with large shiny leaves. I can see succulents falling out of favour in lieu of their large leafed cousins, simply due to natural logic – the larger the leaf, the greater the phytoremeditive benefits.
What are the best materials to use when it comes to biophilic design?
You can mimic the emotional benefit of biophilic design by injecting green to your scheme, but a green sofa or painted wall won’t offer the health benefits. Natural plants are the only way to inject true biophilic effects into your home.
What materials should be avoided?
False faux plants
How can the average consumer incorporate biophilic design into their current design scheme?
Simply add a plant to your desk at work; or stand a large leafy palm in a currently empty corner in your home. The more plants you add around your home, the more you will enjoy the aesthetic and physical health benefits of sharing your home with natural greenery. This is one of the most accessible and cost effective ways to uplift your interior.
What should consumers avoid when it comes to biophilic design?
Part of the process is the responsibility to look after your plants – avoid letting your plants die!