The Biophilia Trend

Manufacturers need to be ready with the right products to meet changing needs
Eric Thompson
May 14, 2019
THE TALK... | Markets & Trends

Keeping your finger on the pulse of modern home design trends is important if you’re in the window and door industry. So where are people’s heads these days?

I wasn’t too surprised to see that “window walls” were one of the top picks in a recent Houzz trends piece. While the write-up credits increasingly efficient cabinet design with enabling designers and homeowners to replace upper cabinets with more expansive window walls, we’ve been tracking the ways that homeowners are demanding bigger windows and combined indoor/outdoor spaces for a while now. The desire for more natural light in the kitchen isn’t too surprising as a part of this broader trend.
 
In fact, the ways indoor and outdoor spaces are combined are evolving in interesting ways. For instance, Forbes picked “biophilia” as an on-the-rise trend for 2019, an interior design framework that “engages the end user by connecting them to primal instincts about the relationship between humans and nature.”
 
According to the green architecture firm Terrapin Bright Green, biophilic design follows 14 patterns that seek to “reduce stress, enhance creativity and clarity of thought, improve our well-being and expedite healing.” In practice, it means spaces that incorporate natural elements, like wood, water, greenery, and natural light and air in novel new ways.
 
That might all sound a bit lofty, but there’s an increasing body of evidence showing the real, human benefits that these kinds of spaces can have for occupants. This list shows a variety of communal indoor environments that incorporate skylights, new window shapes and adaptable openings, and earth-toned window and door framing. Importantly, the fenestration elements here work in harmony with the rest of the space, creating intuitive openings and connections with the outdoors.
 
Whether or not we continue to see a meaningful spread of biophilic living spaces, it’s always important to remember that functional, high-performance window and door technology is a critical element to making any space a success. As I researched this post, I also came across the recent blog post from WDMA’s Michael O’Brien about the five elements behind the best-made windows, doors and skylights—I even wrote about one of them last month. He hits on the most important things a window and door can be, and these elements hold true no matter the specifics of a space where they’re being used. 
 
Cutting-edge interior design is only becoming more creative and forward thinking in both residential and commercial applications, and we need to be ready with the right products to meet changing needs.

 

Eric Thompson is a national account manager for Quanex Building Products. Email him at eric.thompson@quanex.com.