Beautiful Thinking: Oliver Heath’s Story

#BeautifulThinking is creating spaces that inspire and improve well-being

Biophilia is a concept which proposes that human beings share an innate attraction to nature and natural processes, benefiting from its restorative presence.

However, as more and more of the world’s population congregate in built-up urban environments, our opportunities to interact with nature are rapidly decreasing.

Biophilic design seeks to strengthen our connection with the natural world in the many spaces in which we live and work, in three key ways:

  • direct forms of nature via visual, and non-visual means – gentle natural movement, access to natural light, the seasons and air movement
  • indirect representations of nature, such as natural colours, patterns, textures, materials and structures
  • our emotional response to spaces, helping us to use them more effectively and in the way intended.

A growing body of research has demonstrated how the use of biophilic design can help create more restorative, recuperative and energising environments in many building types, such as schools, hospitals, homes and offices.

The ‘Human Spaces’ report, for example, has found that when offices allows for natural elements such as greenery or sunlight in the design, workers experience a 13 per cent uplift in levels of well-being, and eight per cent increase in productivity.

Flooring is an area ripe for realising the benefits of biophilia in design. For instance, Interface’s recent ‘Human Nature’ carpet tile range is inspired by elemental landscapes and provides designers with the creative freedom to mimic natural landscapes and patterns.

Inspiring design that helps us connect more deeply with nature to improve our health and well-being – that’s beautiful thinking.

Find out more about Oliver and his work at

Share with others

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

14 Patterns of Biophilic Design: Complexity & Order

December 14, 2015

Complexity, as one of the more abstract biophilic concepts, has gained quite a bit of traction as a welcomed design challenge. We talk about the objective of the Complexity & Order pattern (#10) as a means for creating a visually nourishing environment, based on an understanding of the symmetries, fractal geometries and spatial hierarchies that…

Share with others