People have an inherent human inclination to connect with nature. Yet we spend the vast majority of our time indoors, which can have a major impact on health and well being.

Biophilic design provides building occupants with a connection to the outside environment.  Indoor water features can bring not only the soothing sound of water, but also the patterns of light reflecting off the surface of the water. Natural ventilation, indoor gardens, and the use of natural materials and patterns all find their way into biophilic design. Biophilic design also uses exterior gardens and trees to create as natural an environment as possible outside the building, and a way for people to connect with that setting. As with other modern design approaches, this means bigger windows to allow views through to the outside and varying intensities of natural light.

Not every built environment lends itself to this strategy, which is where the AV industry enters the picture. Earlier this year CE Pro’s Julie Jacobson made the case for AV to embrace biophilic design opportunities in this article.

Biophilic design is nothing new to Draper. Here are a few ways we can help you contribute to a successful biophilic design:

Creating artificial windows.
What can you do to bring nature into the middle of a large building? One idea is to use artificial windows, as mentioned in this 2016 blog post. There is some merit from mounting a videowall and displaying natural content. We humans like context, though, so an even better solution would be a custom trim frame that looks like a window frame.

Dealing with less than ideal views.
Not every window has a great view of nature, so why not use graphic shades to add it? Interior windows that look out over bleak courtyards or offices where the only view is another building can be turned into calming art by adding some nature scenes or natural patterns with graphic shades.

Coping with side effects.
More windows mean more glare, energy loss, and solar heat gain. In the past, this would have been addressed by factors such as size and location of window openings, exterior overhangs, and ventilation. In a modern building, however, more sophisticated shading is required to meet the requirements.

One key for solar control products in a biophilic design is for them to fit in well with the natural environment. Retractable exterior blinds can be hidden out of sight and deployed only when it becomes necessary. The light can then be manipulated by changing the angle of the louvers to provide changing lighting patterns while controlling glare.

Interior shades—available in several natural colors and patterns—can also help with glare reduction. Ultra-quiet motors ensure the least disruptive operation possible and connect to building control systems for automated performance.

When products such as the FlexWave Light Shelf or Bottom-Up FlexShades are added to the mix, light can be diffused or reflected further into the structure as glare and solar heat gain are reduced.

Hiding the evidence.
In the context of natural design, AV equipment can stand out like a sore thumb. There are ways to disguise equipment, but the easiest way is to simply hide it away when not in use. Projection screens, projectors, cameras, and other AV equipment can be recessed in ceilings, walls, or floors and brought into the room when needed by the touch of a button.Click here to talk to your Draper representative about how we can help you with your biophilic design.