June 13th, 2024

Cara Turnbull

“Biophilic design is more than just bringing the outside in, it’s about making and strengthening a connection” - Anon

As climate change becomes one of the largest issues across the globe, retailers are beginning to tap into the authenticity of nature. Adopting softer aesthetics and branding to promote a positive and eco-friendly future for the high-street.

The positive effects of biophilic design

The positive effects of biophilic design

With a refreshed perspective, brands are depending on their innovation, creativity and environmental impact to reimagine new ways of storytelling. Through celebrating earth-centric tones and the beauty of mother nature, the new approach encourages consumers to connect with our senses through the nurturing of nature.

As we unpick biophilic design, it’s evident that it’s not just retail that is reconnecting with nature; apparel trends, such as gorpcore, showcase weatherproof articles being used as fashion statements rather than for practical use. Even though the aesthetic poses as a trend, it has in fact further encouraged generations to reconnect with the outdoors and seek adventure, pushing eco-positivity.

Whilst providing a sense of life and vitality, botany effectively boosts and influences the mood of our society through the psychology of nature. Throughout this article we discuss our current favourite retail designs within the remit of biophilia.

Biophilic Window Display Featuring handmade and over-sized strawberry sculptures

Chelsea in bloom

Every year more than 120 businesses, retailers and restaurants participate in London’s largest festival of flowers. The concept, ‘Chelsea in Bloom’, empowers nature and brings community together whilst flooding London’s streets with an array of creative window displays. Transforming store facades and window displays into a spectacular art piece, the abundance of biophilia and the softness of flora, provides a sensorial experience that establishes dynamic and inviting spaces. With some stores even going above and beyond by transforming their interiors into an eco-friendly haven.


Anthropologie partnered with @Myladygarden to push the boundaries of traditional flower displays. Featuring handmade and over-sized strawberry sculptures, the display represents Britain’s love for strawberries and the summertime drink, Pimm’s, fitting perfectly within the ‘floral feasts’ theme. Producing a vibrant window display that captivates the attention of the passersby, brought further awareness to the brand.

Ralph Lauren Display

Ralph Lauren paid homage to this year’s theme with a ‘Ralph’s coffee’ themed installation. Surrounded by botanical filled coffee sacks and reimagined with oversized coffee cups, the installation showcased a great quantity of floral species. From jasmines to cosmos, the flowers used each subtly nodded towards the layered notes found in Ralph’s signature coffee blend, bringing the store exterior to life in line with this year’s theme yet staying true the brands heritage.


Amid the entrants of this year’s festival, homeware retailer ‘The Conran Shop’ won best floral display with their eco-friendly interior design. Taking inspiration from the artisanal heritage of France and the countryside, the interior was transformed into an idyllic scene. Portraying a summer evening and eating alfresco among a wildflower meadow, the vibrant installation celebrated the story of Zoe de Givenchy, a name synonymous with good taste, style and elegance.

ARC’TERYX outdoor apparel and equipment store display
ARC’TERYX outdoor apparel and equipment gardening store display

Arc’teryx flagship 

Leading luxury apparel brand, ARC’TERYX, specialises in outdoor apparel and equipment for mountaineering and alpine sports. As they hope to reignite the love for outdoor sports, they found that the only way to build the company was having their HQ located within the environment it’s made for, The Coast Mountains.

Focusing on their recent flagship located in Beijing, the luxury retailer celebrated its Vancouver roots within the architectural design. Recreating the dramatic landscape of the Coast Mountains through rock, timber and earth-centric elements, the store merchandises the products within their natural elements. Additionally adorned with dead trees transformed into glass encased columns and irregular rock platforms, the store echoes the brands ethos of growth and resilience. Further inviting consumers to share the brands adventurous spirit and welcoming them into the world of Arc’teryx.

TOD’S Italian garden pop-up

With a commitment to protect people, the environment and cultural heritage, the luxury retailer TOD’S presented the ‘Italian garden’ pop-up. Located in Shanghai, the pop-up store showcased its spring/summer 24 collection by effortlessly combining elegance and craftmanship. The rich topiary walls and leather details accompanied oversized chess pieces, creating a mesmerising experience that brought the beauty of Italian gardens to the forefront of design. Transcending the passerby into a state of fascination, the contemporary display used authentic botanical elements to effectively showcase artistry with a touch of nature – a place where tradition meets modernism.

Where do we come in?

Design plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of physical retail, and at D4R we envision a future where the only design for retail is sustainable design. We challenge briefs where necessary; we push boundaries and we’re ambitious for our brands. We turn ideas into reality, so let’s make yours one…


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