“… design can mimic the rejuvenating characteristics of nature indoors. We believe that biophilic design—bringing elements of nature into the environment in different ways, including architecturally—can also be restorative.” -Herman Miller
Employees have been found to perform much better in an environment designed to resemble the outdoors than in one that does not. This effect can be achieved through the use of wallpaper with nature textures or photographs of rain-forests and landscapes; stimuli that bring to mind the outdoors. Going the extra step and bringing plants into the work environment can help to increase productivity. Flexible layouts that mimic a natural environment have been shown to be useful in keeping staff focused and happy.
How much good do such tactics really provide us? Is it possible they fool us into feeling safe and without any remorse for the real “nature” that we will, or will not, encounter when we step outside our office or classroom? Why should we only be able to enjoy beautiful landscapes through portraits and paintings someone else had the privilege of enjoying to replicate it so well?
We all see “green” and to the naive this is a sign of a healthy urban area. However, this green we really see is turf. We ignore that our eyes are often being fooled by the “green” we see. The ratio of “green” or vegetation to the amount of concrete and asphalt that makes up our streets is not easy to ignore, but I guess some is better than nothing.
It is wonderful to have a piece of nature indoors, but nature is usually found outside, and in densely populated urban areas (such as a city) the amount of natural vegetation is constantly forced smaller and smaller by demand for synthetic space.