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Introduce Nature to your Working Environment this Summer

Wednesday, 4 July, 2018

There’s growing evidence that workplaces who incorporate natural elements, such as plants, light, colours and shapes have noticeable and measurable benefits for both companies and their employees.

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The positive effects touch on everything from general well-being, creativity and increased productivity.It’s all based on the principle of biophilia — the instinctive affinity that humans have with the natural world and other living systems. And it’s easier to achieve in the workplace than you’d think.

Five ways we encourage clients to incorporate nature into their environments:

1. Furniture which synergises with plants and nature We have introduced nature into our showroom using the “On-Point” table from Swedish design house “Offecct” which is an innovative way of bringing mother nature to the forefront of your environment. Incorporating vegetation into the centre of the table creates a unique piece of micro-architecture that echoes the theme of outdoors within an indoor space.

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We used this creative product in a number of recent projects. Check out University of Bristol’s Nature inspired “Innovation Centre” below…


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Within our showroom we have also designed a bespoke “Garden Area” where we meet, eat lunch and work away from our desks. Visitors and suppliers often utilise this area for working whilst at our showroom.

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Whilst visiting Clerkenwell Design Week in May 2018 we recognised a strong vibe for Biophillic design and loved some of the innovative ideas shown off at suppliers’ showrooms. The Relic Cloud from Frovi is a great example of how furniture and nature can be perfectly paired…

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2. Natural fabrics and finishes

Elements of nature can be brought into the workplace in a number of ways including through colour, texture and pattern. Using materials like wool, wood and stone build a natural environment, whilst using textures and patterns found in nature help to create an immersive outdoors experience.

Consumers are becoming more and more aware of sustainability and are starting to demand that suppliers take more consideration for the environment. Back in 2005, leading fabric manufacturer Camira started developing fabrics made from wool and nettle fibre. After success with nettles, Camira then started experimenting with making fabrics from wool and hemp. Now one of BOF’s most popular ranges, with a wide variety of colour options, Camira Hemp lives up to its 100% wool counterparts, while being significantly better for the environment.

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3. Use of plants and nature

Plants in the office make people happier and more productive. Whether real, artificial or a combination of the two, the addition of plants is the most obvious way to bring the outside inside. Add planter boxes to storage units, large pots on the floor, desk plants, terrariums or vases of flowers.

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Storage in BOF Showroom

We have recently completed two projects which feature “Living Walls” using nature as a focal point…

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One Cathedral Square, University of Bristol

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RAD Building, University of Nottingham

Installing green façades and living walls can result in many benefits to the environment, buildings and human welfare including air purification, noise reduction, dust suppression, heat reduction and aesthetics amongst other features.

4. Natural light and acoustics

Multiple studies confirm that workers who get sunlight are likely to be more active, sleep well and are generally of better mental and physical health. In turn artificial lighting, including office lighting and light from electric devices can be disruptive to our system and can result in poor sleeping quality. Poorly designed lighting can also result in eyestrain, headaches or can affect our vision. Big windows that allow plenty of daylight are key to a well-designed workspace.

Sustainable acoustic solutions made from natural fibres are an effective way to enhance your environment, reducing background noise and improving speech intelligibility, thereby creating more productive spaces.

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Following his successful Airflake and Aircone products, designer Stefan Borselius brings nature into the interior space. “The idea is that you should be able to create anything – from organic foliage to strict graphic patterns,” explains Borselius. Airleaf makes it possible to create separate areas and a pleasant soundscape while preserving the room’s openness.

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Airleaf by Abstracta at BOF’s showroom

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Airflake by Abstracta at BOF installation also featuring Onpoint by Offecct

5. Artwork and wall coverings

Artwork depicting nature helps remind us of the natural world, through images, textures, patterns, colours and shapes. Additionally, artwork can be readily changed and rearranged. Here are some of our favourites… Swansea University used bluebell woods and beach scenes to enhance their corridors at the Bay Campus. We supplied the flooring and furniture to compliment the artwork.

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At Bridgend College Pencoed Campus Library…

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A long road ahead at a training college with corresponding autumnal colour scheme…


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Coastal Housing creatively brought the ‘outdoors indoors’ using street lights, grass flooring, benches, an artificial tree, vinyl birds artwork and of course lots of sheep!

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Thanks for reading! We hope this article inspires you to introduce more elements of nature into your working environment. If you enjoyed this content, and would like more information delivered straight to your inbox; make sure you subscribe to our mailing list below!


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