The 31.5 Guy
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The 31.5 Guy

Biophilia Effect — the power of Greens

In April 2017, in Cupertino, California, employees started pouring in, into “the Spaceship”. I’m of course, not talking about an actual unidentified flying object — but rather the culmination of Norman Foster’s incredible architectural design, and Steve Jobs’ vision — that led to the creation of Apple Park. The huge circular groundscraper is spread out over 175 acres.

But what you would be surprised to know, is that over 80 percent of Apple Park — is actually a park full of greenery. It even has an artificial pond in the middle of the massive central courtyard.

And it all looks beautiful — but just that — is not the purpose of it all.

In this piece, we’ll be taking a look at the crucial role nature plays in our lives.

In the prehistoric days, we lived surrounded by greenery. Nature was all around us, and that was the way we were supposed to be. Until the concrete jungles showed up and tried to “modernise” the world.

But we, as part of nature itself, are fine-tuned to be at our best, when at least one of our senses determine that we are in close proximity to greenery and nature in general. And when I say, that we are at our best, I mean — reduced stress and highly improved concentration.

This is called the Biophilia Effect.

This is also the very reason, Apple Park is full of drought-resistant trees — it has apricot, olive and apple trees, a herb garden and 309 other varieties of indigenous plants — making it a total count of 9000 trees. It turns out, even images of nature can trigger the biophilia effect — but there’s nothing quite like being in and around real gardens and trees.

The biophilia effect, stems from another principle — called the green effect.

Basically it’s a set of positive behavioural and cognitive effects, triggered when we’re exposed to the colour — green. You see, universally, green symbolises safety and security.

And this conception comes from our arboreal ancestry — we had green all around us, and this gave us a sense of sustainability through being with nature.

So, in the design of all environments, green is always a good choice.

But in particular, in environments and spaces that will serve the primary purpose of learning or healing or concentration or creativity and problem-solving, leverage the tremendous power of greens and the biophilia effect.

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Rounak Bose

Rounak Bose


3 parts designer, 1 part tech-geek, 2 parts writer, 1 part truth-seeker, 2 parts space enthusiast and 1 part realist. Too many parts? Naah! 😎