ATLANTA – Some people love New York. Others fancy London, Sydney, or Hong Kong. While preferences for cities are split, science says that all of us may in fact be hard-wired to love the natural world. Interface, the world’s largest manufacturer, designer and marketer of carpet tiles, today launched a global competition called “Reconnect Your Space” that calls for architectural, interior or urban landscape design entries that put this affinity for nature, or biophilia, at the forefront. Biophilic design incorporates natural elements into manmade environments in order to help people feel and perform better.
Interface’s Reconnect Your Space competition invites architects, designers and students of these disciplines to submit their visions for how biophilia can influence the design of a new or existing space, either inside within built environments or outside in cities. One winning submission will be selected as the most unique, inspiring and purposeful way of reconnecting this space with nature. Reconnect Your Space is also intended to foster dialogue, spark ideas and create global interest in biophilic design for working, playing and living.
Evidence of biophilic design can be seen in a variety of ways—from New York’s acclaimed High Line linear park built on a historic elevated freight rail line, to the growing popularity of community gardens throughout Sydney, as well as through the ecological approach to building design showcased in Singapore’s Solaris high-rise project. Research shows benefits such as productivity, emotional well-being, stress reduction, learning, healing and environmental protection resulting from biophilic design and humankind’s innate psychological and physiological connections with the natural world.
“Biophilic design is ‘purpose driven’ design that recognizes humanity’s strong link with the natural world, which can be utilized for good,” said Maria Davlantes, senior vice president and CMO of Interface. “Our hope is that Reconnect Your Space inspires compelling examples of leading-edge biophilic design. We appreciate the global emergence of this exciting area and how the broader design community and communities at large stand to benefit through its development.”
Through the competition, designers have an opportunity to bring their biophilic visions to life and help advance biophilic design. Participating entrants can visit the Reconnect Your Space page via www.interfacereconnect.com to:
- Upload an image (sketch, drawing, rendering) of their visions for reconnecting a favorite space with nature; and
- Supply a description of an individual entry in 500 words or less.
A renowned panel of judges will choose one winning entry from the global design community. Judges include: Robert D. Fox, principal at Fox Architects based in New York City; Paul McGillick, editorial director at Indesign Publishing in Sydney and Richard Weston, professor of architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University in Wales. The panel will select the winner from six finalists determined by social media based voting at interfacereconnect.com.
The winner’s prize includes travel and accommodations for four days and three nights to experience firsthand biophilia’s influence in design. The winner can choose a biophilia inspired stay in one of three locations: Singapore, San Francisco or Cornwall in the United Kingdom. Among the trip themes are discovering how Singapore is achieving its goal of becoming a “city in a garden;” exploring natural elements within San Francisco’s popular monuments and dynamic architectural and design scene, and delving into the United Kingdom’s Eden Project that explores humanity’s dependency on nature.
Visit interfacereconnect.com to review official rules and enter the competition. Interface’s Reconnect Your Space competition is open now through Monday April 1, 2013 at 5:00 pm EST. The winner will be announced on May 6, 2013.