Sasha Sykes

A Case Study of Biophilia in Design –

Sasha Sykes is best known for her remarkable resin sculptures, which are usually composed of straw, moss, seaweed and flowers set in poured resin.

Sasha Sykes is an Irish artist and sculptural furniture maker who works with resin to explore, manipulate, and challenge the material language of the natural world. Having formally trained as an architect, her work is infused with a strong sense of form and composition which alongside the organic and natural materials defines the pieces she makes. In our recent Taylor Howes Creative meeting one of our senior designers presented her “ As I Am Now” chimneypiece as a case study of how designers can bring elements of the outside world in, in an original and authentic way. The New York Times was quoted as saying that Sasha creates “products for people who live in the city but dream of the country”.

This sentiment is inline with the recent trend we have begun to see from many of our clients who want us to incorporate elements of the natural world into their city homes. This is known as Biophilic Design. Biophilia is a ‘love of life or living systems’. It’s our inherent human connection to the natural world. In an urban world of technology and industrial architecture, this fundamental connection can sometimes feel lost. Biophilic design is an innovative way for us as designers to harness this affinity for nature in our homes in order to create natural environments for us to live, work and learn. By consciously including nature in interior or architectural design, we are unconsciously reconnecting, bringing the great outdoors into our constructed world. By doing this we are ultimately creating healthy homes, that will have positive impacts on our physical and mental wellbeing.

Biophlic design is more than just the adding of a pot plant or two to your home. It is a holistic approach to design in which we as designers have to have a structural readdress of how we look at the spaces we live in and their functions. For Biophilic design to be successful the architectural and interior design elements need to work together to create a home that is truly reflective of the natural world. This can come through incorporating  natural light, vegetation, living walls, natural textures and materials and nature views in our homes. Sasha’s ‘As I am Now’ chimneypiece serves as a case study of innovative and successful biophilic design. Sasha has readdressed the way in which we view a chimneypiece, often a central feature in any living room, to include both functional and natural elements to create a biophilic piece of design.

Click here to view some more of Sasha’s work.