Biophilic design celebrates the richness of nature, minimalist interiors follow the less-is-more principle.
Can the two things ever go together?
Can a biophilic interior be minimalist?
The essence of biophilic design
In answering this question, it’s important to start recalling that biophilic design is not a style but a design approach. So – in principle – it should be able to live within any design brief.
The ultimate objective of biophilic design is crafting a deep connection between the natural world and people through the spaces they occupy. The question then becomes whether this is possible while sticking with a minimalist aesthetic.
A new take on minimalism
Extreme minimalist interiors are sometimes defined as dry, even intimidating because too empty, too flat, or too boring (quoting opinions I’ve heard myself). These objections suggest that something is missing in these spaces. And I think I can give a name to this something: sensory richness.
However, not all minimalist interiors are extreme minimalist interiors.
The so-called warm minimalism merges the roots of minimalism with more welcoming and comfortable atmospheres.
In so doing, warm minimalist interiors incorporate some biophilic features (think textures) while keeping an overall essential identity.
So yes, minimalist interiors and biophilic design can go together!
Merging biophilic design with minimalism
Biophilic design relies on three sets of strategies, that are actually all compatible with warm minimalist interiors.
Regardless of style, outdoor views can provide a visual connection with nature and natural processes, while other biophilic design tools (like dynamic & diffused lighting and temperature & airflow variability) make the experience of the space more dynamic.
From a layout perspective, biophilic design aims at reproducing the organization of natural environments through prospect, refuge, mystery, and risk. Once again, these strategies do not dictate a particular aesthetics, so they can be adapted to whatever style!
Last but not least, all the above features can be directed towards building a sense of identity, crafting interiors that belong to their local surroundings.
Biophilic design provides a set of guidelines, not fixed rules. As such, it can be applied to any design project, regardless of style, size, and use.
In the case of minimalist interiors (warm minimalist in particular), the resulting spaces will be an interesting mix that celebrates the essence of nature while embracing a less-is-more philosophy!