Biophilic Design in Merchandising

This week we learned about biophilia and how we can use our aptitude for nature in sustainability-centered designs. Biophilia is the idea that we as humans have an inherent likeness that causes us to seek connections with nature and other life forms. Because of this, we are able to use our connection with nature to see the fourteen patterns in nature and create designs around those patterns. These patterns are nature in the space: which includes visual and non visual connection with nature, presence of water, dynamic and diffuse light, and connection with nature systems, natural analogues: which includes material connection with nature, biomorphic forms and patterns, and complexity and order, and nature of space: which includes prospect, refuge, mystery, and risk/peril.

All of these are represented in buildings around the world, however they are very rarely used in retail and merchandising spaces. According to an article that we read and discussed in class, many studies have suggested that having a presence of nature and greenery creates a greater sense of peace and calm in consumers. If businesses were to take advantage of this knowledge, consumers would not only want to stay longer, but buy more things as a result of the time spend there. For example, if retailers like Forever 21 were to display nature and greenery, it would take away from the sense of overwhelmingness that tends to follow from shopping at Forever 21.

Because of Biophilic Design, we are able to use our connection to the natural world to our advantage. We can create an environment that enables our consumption based economy to live in cohesion with nature, instead of slowly destroying both.

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