Biophilic Design & Biomimicry in Human-Filled Spaces

Updated: Sep 6, 2020

CEO Harleen Mclean holds a deep understanding of human behavior and habits. With love for nature and passion for healing, she is an inspiration to over 25,000 professionals from all over the world. Her life in Africa helped her better understand nature and its influence on the built environment. Running through the forest in her youth and connecting with the wildlife and open environment facilitated her development in connecting these two separate worlds into one, which is something you can see in her work.  Understanding that the surrounding environment can influence our everyday emotional, cognitive and physical well-being, Harleen developed a signature design code from which more inspired, healthier and mindful living and working habits can flow. In her past projects she conceptualized a pioneering design for well-being for interiors named Oikos, after the ancient Greek term for integrated living, family and community, and she is now working on the way interiors and the built design can support human well-being and healing. By working with your internal state, Harleen Mclean Interior transforms your interior space and built environment for the promotion of your personal well-being.

Harleen Mclean

Biophilia Enhances Human Well-Being

Through the combination of the love of nature and an understanding of human behavior, Harleen Mclean Design aims to use biophilic design to decrease stress, improve sleep quality, increase productivity, and overall boost the well-being of individuals.  Biophilia is the love of life and the love of nature with the idea that humans have an innate tendency to closely interact, connect, and associate with forms of life and nature. Designers and architects interested in this concept play a major role in implementing aspects and elements of biophilic design in human-filled spaces, such as work offices, health care buildings, and other public spaces where humans endeavor to affiliate with nature.  Utilization of different senses of biophilia allow for enhancement of spaces. For example, when focusing on sight, adding green walls, green roofs or rooftop gardens, aquascapes, live vegetation, natural lighting, natural colors, material, and patterns, and other physical, lively parts of nature allow spaces to transform into visually aesthetic environments. To address sound through aspects of nature, water features, nature-themed music, and senses of breezes or wind are often integrated into human-filled places. Smell can also be incorporated in natural ways such as through fragrant flowers. In addition, biophilia can add sensations of touch by using natural textured material such as bamboo and fire to add warmth. Lastly, taste is implemented as a result of gardening by growing herbs and other edible plants. By adding senses of biophilia to the built environment, humans can experience an engagement with the natural world. 

sculpture surrounded by plants
biophilic design

Senses of biophilia coupled with the positive benefits biophilia provides ultimately create a feeling of harmony. When adding plants and living natural elements to interior spaces, this helps to improve air quality, decrease levels of harmful toxins, and provide ventilation. This allows for positive psychological and physiological impacts. Because of the positive benefits that plants impart, hospitals, work spaces, homes, and other public environments are on board to fill their spaces with biophilic design.  

Biomimicry in Design: Nature-Inspired Solutions

Biomimicry involves the emulation of nature-inspired solutions to address human design challenges. By mimicking strategies found in nature, this practice is often incorporated in biophilic design to represent shapes of nature, natural forms, and other natural elements.  Within interior design, Harleen Mclean uses biomimetic properties to imitate how the natural world looks and acts. For example, the designer’s Safari fabric collection uses animal skin-patterns (zebra, tortoise, giraffe, and leopard), nature-inspired colors (earthy and sunset colors), and geometric design. By adding the Safari-inspired fabric in interior spaces, this allows individuals to feel as if they are immersed in a forest or on a journey in the African plains. The Birds collection evokes a sense of connection and flow through its heron bird-inspired structures and shapes, while the Floral collection mimics the sustainable life cycle of flora and fauna elements in tropical rainforest locations. The Floral collection also demonstrates blooming and growing seasons through its use of vibrant orange-red colors and petal-shaped features. This concept is replicated in Harleen’s upholstered furniture, where the fabric theme portrays natural movement, shapes, and patterns, earthy colors, and woody material. 

Parrot Wallpaper

By borrowing organic functions, concepts, patterns, and aspects of sustainability from nature, biomimicry allows designers to enhance spaces and adapt solutions originating from the environment. 

How To Learn More on Biophilic Design

Harleen Mclean offers several ways to expand your knowledge on biophilic design and how to incorporate aspects of biophilia into interior spaces. Harleen Mclean’s bespoke service is affordable, and their first class consulting offers more from your typical interior design service. Designing interior products to your personal signature allows you, the office, space or homeowner, the ability to implement it in a way that suits your budget best. By attending Harleen Mclean’s workshops, like minded people from all over the world have the opportunity to connect and discuss biophilic ideas. Particularly if you are working on a project, attending Harleen Mclean’s workshops prepare you to execute your work with confidence and success. Authors: Dirt on Plants, Harleen Mclean Interiors,

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