Reconnecting with nature through biophilic design


14 July 2020

Interior Design and Product Design students explore new concepts of spaces, services and products capable of reconnecting humans with nature.

Interface, a global modular commercial flooring company and a leader in sustainability, has invited students from IED Barcelona’s Undergraduate Degrees in Interior Design and Product Design to think about the challenge Nature Beyond Design, in an aim to explore new concepts of spaces, services and products capable of reconnecting humans with nature and providing a positive impact on individuals and society.

The proposals investigate present and future scenarios from a creative, innovative and sustainable perspective, and are materialised in the recovery and redefinition of natural environments in the city of Barcelona, the conception of spaces for socialising, the creation of new materials and the generation of virtual experiences.

Within the framework of this collaboration, focused on final year projects, the approaches, although extremely diverse, have the common denominator of applying principles of biophilic design; one of Interface’s key lines of action in its commitment to the creation of ‘positive spaces’ by applying human-centred design. 

For the company, in the words of its Concept Designer, Odile Beranger, “choosing a theme as beautiful as “Nature Beyond Design” while going through such an unusual period allows us to reconsider the beneficial power that nature has on our well-being and health, and how our bond with it makes us “alive” when we respect it. It is a great opportunity for students to explore new connections and meeting points between nature and human-centred design,” she adds.

Design School Managing Director, Raffaella Perrone, also highlights that “we are living in a very stimulating moment for design professionals and students, since the Fourth Industrial Revolution has accelerated processes of production, usability and consumption, plunging a model that is not sustainable in the long term into crisis”.

In her opinion, nature “is a source of inspiration, the origin of things, simple material, an environment in which to live and from which we can improve. It’s about us integrating with it and not imposing upon it”.

How does a certain space make us feel? How can this affinity with the natural environment be fostered by the interior or product disciplines? Organic forms, ventilation and illumination, vegetation, the selection of natural materials and the generation of experiences are some of the aspects contemplated in the final projects of the students from IED Barcelona.

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