Moss Walls: Trending in Biophilic Interior Design in the UAE
Moss Wall in the Dubai Showroom
Updated on 30th Apr 2018 by Planters
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Living Walls - Biophilic Design is the Freshest Design Trend

Biophilia: Why we need to be closer to Nature

Recently, biophilia has become one of the dominant trends in interior design, as one of the expressions towards more sustainable or “green” principles in construction and décor. The “biophilia hypothesis”, was introduced by Edward O. Wilson in 1984. Wilson synthesized the work of the psychologist Erik Fromm among others to argue that human beings have an inborn biological desire to connect with the natural world and with other living things. When we are closer to nature, we feel happier. This is a critical insight as many people in the modern industrial world spend up to 90% of their time, indoors, divorced from nature.

Numerous studies have shown that incorporating natural elements in our homes, offices and other public spaces can contribute to our physical and emotional health. Biophilic design elements, which include incorporating natural materials such as wood and stone, natural lighting, free moving air, water features and greenery or even representations of the natural world, in our indoor environments, can improve creativity, productivity and concentration levels, increase calmness, and speed up healing.

Oliver Heath, a Biophilic design firm, summarised some the proven benefits of biophilic design.

  • 8% productivity increase
  • 13% sense of wellbeing increase
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Guests are willing to pay 23% more for rooms with view of biophilic elements
  • 25% increase in learning rates
  • Improved test scores, concentration and attendance
  • Reduced ADHD impact
  • 8.5% improvement in post-operative recovery
  • 22% reduction in pain medication
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  • Increase in retail space rentals due to customers willingness to pay 8-12% more for goods and services.
  • 7-8 % less crime in areas with access to green areas
  • 4-5% increase in property values

Biophilic design is here to stay. It is not just another passing style trend. Numerous scientific studies have backed up its benefits. That’s the reason why so many top tier companies are turning their offices into virtual greenhouses. Last February, Amazon revealed three enormous structures called Spheres, that encase a cloud forest of more than 40,000 plants at its Seattle headquarters. Microsoft has constructed treehouses for its employees to use as working spaces. Facebook has a nine-acre rooftop park at its Menlo Park California headquarters. Etsy’s office has three different green walls, tree vegetation rich terraces, a moss garden and illustrations of flora . ’

Green: not just the colour of money

Moss Wall in the Dubai ShowroomOne very important feature of biophilic design is to incorporate plants and green features. Beyond the benefits arising from having plants around, like improving air quality, there is a more subtle yet just as important influence brought about by the greenness of plants.

Green has many associations - fertility, wealth, happiness, growth among many others. When we think of nature and natural environments, we usually think of green. In a recent article posted on CNN, Robert Jimison explained why Green is so important to human well-being. We are able to see this color, which is a mixture of blue and yellow, better than any other color on the spectrum because of the way our eyes react to light. The human eye perceives three primary colors, blue, green and red, known as the visible spectrum. Green lies in the middle of this spectrum and this is where our perception is most acute.

The ability to detect green and to distinguish it from other colors may have had an evolutionary advantage, helping our human ancestors to forage for food in the primeval forests or on the savannah. We may not need the ability to see green to feed ourselves any longer, although, Jimison points out how we still use it in picking the right fruits and vegetables to eat on the grocery aisle.

Greenness still plays an important role in our health. Some researchers think that because the human eye performs best at the wavelengths corresponding to this color, seeing it may help to calm us. For example, many hospitals and schools use green shades. A 2016 study carried out by Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public health explored the link between health of more than 100,000 women and their nearness to plant life and vegetation. The study found that women who lived in the greenest areas had a 12% lower death rate than women living in the least green areas.

Moss Walls: The Biggest Trend in Biophilic Design

In an ideal world, we would be able to live and work in verdant green spaces, but in our ever busier and industrialized lives, this is just not feasible for most people. Not every company can afford the expense of creating on campus orchards or futuristic greenhouses like an Amazon or Facebook. But incorporating biophilic design is something that every company or enterprise can do. There are many modern, highly aesthetic ways to express your company’s unique identity in a biophilic framework, that promotes creativity, productivity and well-being. If living walls are the pinnacle of biophilic design in Dubai, real moss walls are the next best thing because they deliver the beauty and impact minus the possible building damage and burden of continuous long-term care.

Moss walls: what are they really?

Moss walls are created using real moss, a flowerless plant that grows in dense green clusters or mats usually in shady or damp environments. Moss is often confused with lichen, which is a form of fungi. Interestingly, lichen is also often used in the creation of “moss walls”. Moss walls are prepared using natural moss, which is ecologically and sustainably harvested, then preserved using natural and completely bio-degradable methods, to ensure that it maintains its fresh color, vibrancy and natural texture. The moss or lichen can then be laid out on standard or custom-sized panels to suit every kind of space and they can be applied to most surfaces.

Poolside | Living Walls Dubai | Planters
Moss is a rather mysterious plant form. Living moss is the signature plant of the Japanese or Zen garden. Moss is deeply rooted in Japanese culture, and the contemplation of moss growth patterns and the natural interplay of colors and textures is one of the practices of Zen Buddhist mediation. Displaying Moss Walls in our dwellings, offices and shops can be one way to tap into the serenity and calmness of meditation in our hectic lives. k

Moss Walls are an essential part of a biophilic-aware design because of their:
  • Versatility: Moss walls can be adapted to different spaces and dimensions and can be customized to suit specific needs of different clients. Moss walls act as extremely effective noise absorbers, so they are extremely well suited to improving the acoustics or background noise levels in open plan office environments, or restaurant and Café spaces. Moss walls are particularly useful for places that don’t have a lot of space to spare but want to intensify the green factor as much as possible.
  • Beauty: They are natural works of art that enhance any environment in which people gather to work or relax. Moss walls offer infinite creative possibilities and are a unique and tasteful alternative to office art works.
  • Cost effectiveness: Moss walls are virtually maintenance-free, making them the ideal choice for spaces that cannot afford the expensive upkeep required for living walls.
  • Convenience and long-life span: Installation is quick and problem-free, again, compared to the complexity of living installations, moss walls don’t require watering or sunlight or temperature conditions. Moss walls< can be mounted in every space where living walls would not thrive, and they can survive in a pristine state for long periods, provided they are not exposed to direct sunlight. Also, because they are not static, they don’t attract dust, maintaining their fresh appearance over time.

Moss Walls in the UAE

Abu Dhabi Showroom | Living Walls Dubai | Planters
Moss is the most efficient solution for introducing greenery into an office environment or public space, like a gym or mall. More and more companies are using it as an essential and striking design element that evokes nature while being extremely modern. While moss does not provide some of the health benefits of living plants like air purification, it makes up for this in ultra-convenience and low mess factor.

Dubai is now one of the design capitals of the world so it is only to be expected that Moss walls are one of the hottest architectural design trends here, as well as in Abu Dhabi and throughout the UAE. One of the most famous recent Moss walls Dubai has seen can be found at Green dunes, a 4.8 by 2.6 metre, 3D vegetal sculpture that was exhibited as part of Downtown Design Dubai in 2014. The architect, Aldo Cibic was commissioned by an Italian producer of high quality moss walls, to create the work as a tribute to Dubai and to the beauty of Gulf culture using moss as his medium and including sand sourced in the UAE. After the exhibition, the wall was also displayed at the La Galerie Nationale in Al Quoz.

A few other amazing local moss wall examples were recently showcased by Planters, one of the leading interior and exterior landscaping companies in the region. Planters designed a stunning green display for the showroom of an Abu Dhabi client. The client wanted to introduce a lush green feature in their showroom that perfectly complemented their brand, without losing valuable floor space. Another requirement was that the greenery should be low-maintenance. Planters delivered a large 14m2 Moss wall that was installed in just one day. The ultra-modern spherical design not only complements the spartan interior of the showroom, but it also helps to cut down on the echo effect of such a large space.

Forsan Cafe | Living Walls Dubai | Planters
Another distinctive example of the use of Moss walls can be seen in Al Forsan Café in Abu Dhabi. To complement the café’s modern and contemporary style, Planters collaborated with their interior designer to introduce greenery to the space without detracting from its fashionable quality. Planters developed a unique curved backlit Moss wall, as well as smaller Moss wall displays installed on top of the windows. The Moss blends seamlessly with the contemporary style of the Café making it an even more inviting place for people to meet with friends and loved ones.

Gravity Gym | Living Walls Dubai | Planters
Planters also worked with the Gravity Gym to define their brand and fitness ethos through using a tastefully designed Moss wall. Gravity Gym is the first dedicated calisthenics and parkour studio in the region. They wanted a feature that emphasized their motto of drawing strength from nature, without giving up any valuable floor space. The company delivered an 18m2 preserved Lichen Moss wall, with the company slogan “Draw Your Strength from Nature” emblazoned. Created over the course of eight weeks, the Moss wall was installed in just one day.

Interested in Moss Walls? Consult the Experts.

Planters is the largest and most trusted interior landscape company in the Gulf. Established in Dubai in 1978, Planters was one of the first design firms to introduce Moss Walls to the market and to use them in distinctive and unique biophilic designs. Planters has no competition in terms of its experience and knowledge about interior and exterior landscaping solutions. The company regularly been honored in international competitions as it offers the very latest thinking on design, a wide range of top quality products and an unmatched level of customer service and engagement.

Restaurant | Living Walls Dubai | Planters
Planters can meet all your design needs in terms of indoor and exterior landscaping, creatively, cost-effectively and with an eye for detail. Planters’ moss and lichen walls can be developed to suit whatever size space you have, and to perfectly compliment your branding and style. Moss Walls are one of the most creative ways to integrate nature into your surroundings, whether at work or at home and Planters understands just how to make them work in your environment.

Planters provides multiple options to clients to suit all tastes and budgets but with a promise that the final result will be spectacular and long lasting. They provide its customers with the choice of four different kinds of premium quality moss. The moss is 100% natural and requires no care. Planters experts are available to guide each customer in the selection of the perfect kind of moss installation to suit their property. Whether client chooses the standard black MDF panels or goes for the flexible, moisture repelling, fire-resistant panels, all wall fixtures are created for each given property, meaning they would fit perfectly.

The Planters’ team of experienced professionals provide the installation service to make sure that the custom panels are properly mounted. The company also provides moss mounting streams and frames to conceal the edges of the MDF panels. You will wonder if you have bought a Moss wall or a unique work of art.
  • Greenwood Moss is harvested from low growing forest moss and includes a variety of forest plants including ferns and cushion moss. Small stones and pebbles add visual interest and focus
  • Greenhill Moss is composed of both cushion moss and bun moss, creating a texture rich wall that copies the natural undulations of the forest floor
  • Moosgreen Flexible can fit even curved walls and cover corners. These flexible panels are designed for self-installation and they can be fixed to nearly kind of surface. Moosegreen walls are made of one of the most popular kinds of moss, reindeer moss, characterized by a bright green color and interesting textured surface.
  • Premium Evergreen Moss is made of 100% reindeer moss offers the highest quality Moss Wall retaining its plumpness and freshness for years
Consult Planters team today for your moss walls requirements. Call them at 04 388 3283 or email your enquiries
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