LEARNING FROM BIOPHILIC DESIGN AFTER COVID-19
Izmir University of Economics (TURKEY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:This research focuses on what can be learned from biophilia, which can be defined as the love of nature, to support behavior such as effectively learning and working in our interiors. More specifically, the study is about how biophilic design applications that are made regarding the COVID-19 hygiene precautions affect office employees' wellness. The findings may help in understanding the bond between human beings and nature, and creating guidelines for a variety of interiors where we live, work, and learn. Research has shown that, biophilic design increases wellness, health, mood, performance, creativity, and learning. This study aims to find how the biophilic design applications that are made regarding the COVID-19 hygiene precautions affect office employee's wellness. In this context, various design proposals and recommendations are given while considering different parts of the office spaces. For this aim, three offices from Turkey, Germany, and Portugal were chosen and employees were interviewed regarding their work environment through before and after comparisons of applied biophilic design criteria in various parts of the workplace, and focusing on all features ranging from layout to surfaces, and effects on the seven dimensions of wellness. Findings show that, biophilic design criteria have significant effects on wellness on most of the measures, which can be considered as guidelines. Therefore, biophilic design can be seen as a fruitful option by not only designers and researchers, but also educators, leaders, and decision-makers for designing spaces during and after the pandemic period when the possible positive effects on human beings are considered. Specifically, in these challenging times when people are restricted to interiors, the bonds with nature are getting weaker, while the need to connect with nature is increasing. This has a significant negative impact on people of all ages, in all types of interiors. It has been known that having increased stress levels can reduce one’s performance on cognitive tasks, and in a pandemic period dominated by uncertainty, people are concerned about their own health as well as their loved ones'. In addition, they want to continue their job, to graduate from their school, to make a living, while being protected from getting ill. In this uncertainty and fear, one’s worries and concerns may naturally increase, affecting stress levels. Most people around the world today are stuck between their homes and offices, partially or completely transforming their interiors due to the necessities that the pandemic has brought. Homes are places where one can be more free, but the same statement cannot be made for office design. If biophilic design in interiors is a common element that increases wellness for all humankind, this might be a crucial time to begin using it an effective technique to strengthen the bonds between human beings and nature.
Keywords: Learning, Biophilia, Biophilic Design, Office Design, Wellness, Covid-19.