Green furniture concept: We are the environment in which we live
In 1940, American nutritionist Victor Lindlahr wrote the book You Are What You Eat, in which he consolidated thinking on the idea that what we put into our bodies directly affects our mental and physical health. More recently, popular chefs have taken over the campaign, prompting the overhaul of educational and clinical catering to move us toward universal acceptance of the strong correlation between wellbeing and nutrition, and an understanding that can be used to enhance learning, behavior and recovery right nutrition.
But what about the health effects of external factors? Research is now driving a new understanding of how our immediate environment and its emissions and sensory stimuli can affect our body’s health. Could “we are the environment we live in” be the new mantra for future well-being?
Bring the big outside inside
That’s the thinking behind biophilic design, an increasingly popular approach to architecture and interior design. Essentially defined as a love of nature, biophilia is a human-centric approach that favors human connection to the natural world. So far, so Vitruvian; Such a connection is indeed ancient, and filtering nature into our interiors is often a fairly intuitive act. But for some, like Swedish placemaker and furniture designer Green Furniture Concept, it has become a guiding principle inseparable from the Care and preservation of nature through sustainable procurement and manufacturing processes. It controls layout, flow, form, materials, pattern, texture, and sourcing and process.
For Swedish placemaker and furniture designer Green Furniture Concept, biophilic design has become a guiding principle, inextricably linked to caring for and preserving nature through sustainable sourcing and manufacturing practices.
“Wherever possible, we bring in living plants: natural light, seasonality, fresh air, water, natural soundscapes and acoustics, scents and aromas,” says Adele Kamel, Brand Director of Green Furniture Concept. “We borrow colours, shapes, lines, patterns and textures from nature. We use a range of natural materials such as wood, stone, clay, shells, natural fibers and textiles. And we look to nature to organize and orient spaces, to create zones and transitions, to balance open spaces with hiding places.”
Health benefits of immersing yourself in nature
As for the return of nature’s embrace in this way? For many years there has been research into what exactly we want and need from nature in our built environment and what positive effects it has. “Science offers clear evidence of the connection between nature and health. We know that the natural environment boosts immunity and reduces stress (Qing Li 2013), accelerates recovery from illness and surgery (Ulrich 1984), and increases concentration (Kaplan 1989),” says Kamel.
“Wherever possible, we bring in living plants: natural light, seasonality, fresh air, water, natural soundscapes and acoustics, scents and flavors.”
Natural daylight has also long been recognized as beneficial to learning and mood when used in educational settings. More recently, following insights from mathematicians and architectural theorists such as Nikos A. Salingaros, our relationship to the geometries of nature and its fractal patterns has been explored, and how through their geometric structure we connect with plants and feel comfortable with a built environment that contains similar patterns.
inclusion of the natural world
With all of this in mind, Green Furniture Concept weaves the natural world into the fabric of spaces with in-house designs such as the Leaf Lamp, which literally mimics the shape and arrangement of leaves on a tree, while the Seamless Table is a sweeping, meandering plane that curves along oriented to the organic world. Modular benches have familiar rib patterns and the materials are renewable woods and wool – sourced from nature with minimal intervention and finished with non-toxic treatments. These are used hand-in-hand with natural daylight, free uncluttered space and live plants, with planters typically incorporated into Green Furniture Concept furniture design.
His work can be seen at transport hubs such as Victoria Station in London, where plants and wooden furniture are designed to ensure we enjoy the journey as much as the destination; Retail centers such as Avalon Mall in Newfoundland, where the Leaf Lamp creates internal avenues of “trees” and College Montmorency, Laval, Quebec, where daylight, volume and flow play a role, as do more tangible aspects of biophilic design. Healthcare facilities like Michigan Children’s Hospital are arguably places that will benefit most from the design philosophy – adding to the well-known healing benefits of Green Furniture Concept’s nature-loving approach is the claim that natural wood and beeswax polish are antiseptic.
Business efficiency is a welcome by-product of biophilic design. “It has the potential to increase visitor retention and reduce stress,” assures Kamel. “And making people feel good can lead to an increase in business. We call it the retail effect. It has also been shown in many studies to reduce sick leave and increase productivity in work environments.’ What’s more, the furniture from Green Furniture Concept remains largely undamaged and the health and economic benefits are hard to deny. “We even make the vandals feel better!”
Find out more about Green Furniture Concept