Biophilic office design: Exploring the impact of a multisensory approach on human well-being

Sara Aristizabal, Kunjoon Byun, Paige Porter, Nicholas Clements, Carolina Campanella, Linhao Li, Aidan Mullan, Shaun Ly, Araliya Senerat, Ivan Z. Nenadic, William D. Browning, Vivian Loftness, Brent Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experiencing nature provides a multitude of health benefits. Biophilic design has emerged as a design approach that aims to reconnect occupants with the natural environment. We evaluated the impact of a multisensory biophilic environment on occupants' cognitive performance, stress, productivity, mood, connectedness to nature, and attention. Thirty-seven participants in three cohorts were exposed to three biophilic design interventions (visual, auditory, and a combination (multisensory)) and a baseline condition, with weekly variations over eight weeks. A wrist-worn stress sensor, daily surveys, and scheduled executive function tasks were administered. Cognitive performance improved in all biophilic conditions compared to baseline. Most satisfaction with workplace appearance, and visual privacy was reported in visual and multisensory conditions, and stress ratings were lower in the multisensory condition compared to baseline. The results demonstrate that immersive biophilic environments can improve occupants’ satisfaction and cognitive performance, while reducing stress. The findings highlight the need to consider non-visual factors in biophilic design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101682
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Biophilia
  • Biophilic design
  • Cognitive performance
  • Environmental satisfaction
  • Living labs
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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