Hotel Design: Learning From Nature
By Graeme Labe Principal & Managing Director, Luxury Frontiers | November 29, 2020
How do you feel hiking through a lush forest or running along the ocean? How does it differ from running on a tarmac road or a treadmill? The action is the same, but your emotional response to being in nature completely transforms the experience.
As humans, we spend 93 percent of our time indoors separated from nature. But if nature could enhance even the most mundane human activities, surely designers have a responsibility to pull the natural world into the built environment. At Luxury Frontiers, we are cognizant of challenges brought on by climate change and over development.
As such, a key principle of our company ethos is to counteract human damage to the earth by promoting the theoretical premises of biomimicry and biophilia and integrating them into design on a physical, philosophical, and psychological level.
Biomimicry and Biophilia
Often confused, these concepts learn from nature in different ways, leveraging nearly 4 billion years of natural problem-solving skills to generate sustainable design solutions and technologies. Biomimicry is the imitation or emulation of nature's engineering to solve design challenges, while biophilia describes human connection with nature and recognizes the physical and physiological benefits of our biological connectedness with the natural world.
Biophilia (translating to "love of life") inserts instances of nature, natural patterns, or spatial conditions into the built environment to facilitate stress reduction, improve cognitive performance, and support positive emotions and mood. With nature as our mentor, the aerodynamic Bullet train was conceived by carefully studying the shape of a bird's beak, and the Wright brothers' first flying machine took to the sky emulating the flight of pigeons.