Can something be late and right on-time all at once? The Biophilic Miniature Suite Installation would have been the last Suite of 2021 but here it is, the first of 2022.
There’s many ways to describe Biophilia, but by its simplest definition, it’s a built environment that increases the occupant(s) connectivity to the nature.
The term was first coined in 1973 by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in his book The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness. Fromm defined biophilia as a “passionate love of life and of all that is alive…whether in a person, a plant, an idea, or a social group”.
Although the concept has been around as far back as when humans began to walk upright, today the term is more associated with design. Coincidentally, Biophilic design was one of the leading interior design trends of 2020. With the pandemic declared in March of that year, no one could have predicted just how integral Biophilia would become to our overall well-being. It is argued that Biophilic design has health, environmental, and economic benefits.
According to the Kaitlyn Gillis, Wellbeing & Sustainability Specialist at stantec.com, humans spend 93 percent of our time indoors separated from natural elements. With many of us working from home and adhering to stay-at-home directives, it’s an easy statistic to fathom.
That’s how the idea of the Biophilic Miniature Suite was sparked. I was spending so much time indoors and wanting to reconnect more with nature. I’ve had a fascination with living walls ever since I saw the 5-story vertical garden up close at the Corus Quay building at Toronto’s waterfront. Living walls are not only aesthetically beautiful to look at but they also act as a biofilter, removing toxins from the air. This miniature version will not live up to any of that but I did boost my endorphins planning and “planting” the wall as well as building other featured pieces.
The coffee table was inspired by Art Deco designer Paul T. Frankl (1886 -1958) who was an early adopter of biomorphic designs and user of novel materials such as cork veneer. I used cork fabric and wood for this miniature coffee table. The wall unit is a Paul McCobb (1917 – 1969) mid-century modern design, hand cut using scrap baltic birch. The sofa went through a few design adaptations. In the end Frank Lloyd Wright provided the inspiration. And finally the vintage armchair is not attributed to any one designer but it’s definitely a ubiquitous presence in many vintage-inspired interiors.
All materials used to complete the Suite were things I had on hand with exception of the moss which I purchased to complete the living wall and a few curiosities I found at the St. Lawrence Sunday Antique Market. Some items you can find on my Etsy store like the art, mirror, pottery and downloadable, printable book covers with biophilic and sustainable living themes.
I hope you enjoy this Miniature Suite Installation and will start to rethink how you can connect with nature in your full-scale environments.