Education News

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Interior Design

August 7, 2023 | Campus News

An extremely informative sharing session on the breathtaking beauty of Biophilic Design in architecture took place at The One Academy. The Interior Design and Architecture programme students were in awe as they learned the timeless trend of including natural elements in built spaces, such as non-artificial light, water or plants. The entire talk had students hooked and inspired as it was conducted by award-winning International Architect and Co-Founder of ZLG Design, Huat Lim alongside Joanne Teoh, the Design Director of IDKreate Studio.

The session began with Huat Lim introducing the true essence of biophilia to the students, emphasizing the inherent human tendency to seek meaningful connections with nature. He discussed the authentic beauty of nature, encompassing its organic shapes, vibrant colors and unique forms, all of which can serve as a rich source of inspiration for interior design and architecture. “Go outside, immerse yourselves in nature and take pictures as reference,” he said. Lim believes that exploring nature can spark an endless flow of creative and design innovation.

Joanne Teoh continued the sharing by educating students on ways they can implement biophilia in interior design. Her talk revolved around intertwining nature with humans. Teoh mentioned that as interior designers, students should not only constrain their ideas to just bringing elements of nature into a building, but instead she encouraged them to think out of the box. She further explained how the building itself can extend outside or designers can integrate an entire natural ecosystem into a space just like indoor glass houses.

Students were in amazed as they were shown examples of biophilic interior designs. Teoh shared pictures of buildings with water features and explained how it adds a sense of serenity whereas incorporating earthy scents ignites calmness. However, adding textures like wood, stone and clay on the walls and floors of a space makes people feel like they are stepping into nature. Lastly, the clever use of glass doors and large windows allow natural light to enter, casting a soft, ever-changing glow that transforms the space with the shifting colors of the sun throughout the day. “These elements have the ability to transport visitors to a forest-like world as it intrigues their imagination through senses like smell, touch, sound and sight,” said Teoh.

In the Q&A session, where students and lecturers enthusiastically asked questions on ways to apply biophilic design principles in their own future projects, Huat Lim and Joanne Teoh graciously shared their expertise and personal experiences. When asked what clients think of biophilic design after the pandemic, Teoh simply replied by saying it is not an issue at all because when people were locked in their homes for so long many of them actually missed the touch of nature. So now, they crave being closer to nature.

During the session, a question arose regarding how Malaysian culture influences biophilia, to which Huat Lim provided an insightful response. He highlighted that inspiration can be drawn from vintage Chinese, Indian or Malay houses. Specifically, he pointed out the design of 'kampung' houses, where the gaps between each wooden panel creates a feeling of being one with nature. It is built in such a way that even without air conditioning which is harmful to the environment, the house itself is cooling with a smooth airflow. Lim gave the perfect example of benefitting from nature in a sustainable manner.

It truly was an informative sharing as it opened up so many new styles these young designers can experiment with. The Interior Design field is constantly evolving and it plays a huge role in practically any space. As students are given the opportunity to meet with industry experts and learn the newest trends at The One Academy, they are more than prepared to step into the working world. This exposure helps students realise their importance in creating an environment that is comfortable and sustainable while allowing their creativity to run wild. 

The One Academy is committed to providing the best art education programmes and continues to nurture its students passionately through its “Masters Train Masters” coaching philosophy, which has been practised for over 30 years, by providing diploma and degree courses in Advertising & Graphic Design, Digital Animation, Digital Media Design, Film Visual Effects, Interior Architecture & Design, Illustration, Fine Arts, Paris Fashion Design & Pattern Making, Computer Science & Game Design. For more information, visit or call 03-7875 5510 or e-mail your enquiries to [email protected].

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