The conversation about workplace wellbeing has seen an upswell in recent years, with an abundance of science showing the positive benefit of working in proximity to natural elements. Increasingly, the idea of biophilia (the love of living things) is being used as a design feature in the corporate space, bringing natural light, organic matter, and the calm of forest bathing to the office.
For Belgium-based company Greenmood, the forest part is integral. They have honed a holistic method for hand-harvesting mosses and lichens from European forests and turning them into workplace interventions that offer both aesthetic and acoustic respite. Founder Sadig Alekperov discovered the beauty and virtues of preserved plants while traveling the world and was inspired to combine plant materials with everyday objects by starting Greenmood in 2014. “Our aim is to bring the outdoors indoors in order to create well-being in office environments,” Alekperov says.
From left to right: Raw lichen (also known as reindeer moss) in the forest, an isolated sample of lichen, and a completed Greenmood installation using reindeer moss.
Unlike a living wall, Greenmood’s pieces require zero upkeep once installed: the plant material is preserved using ecofriendly processes designed to maintain their lushness without needing water or other horticultural attention. The verdant pieces serve the eye and mind, as well as the ear: they significantly reduce noise pollution, an often-unaddressed contributor to workplace distraction and stress.
Greenmood’s product line is wide-ranging, including largescale room dividers, screens, and pillars that offer double-sided sound absorption and smaller, variously shaped partitions that can be mounted to walls, hung from ceilings, or placed as free-standing pieces atop desks or tables. Each piece in the product line combines the organic quality of plant material with metal frames that guarantee durable structural integrity.
The pieces are modular and complementary, affording flexibility that can outfit and green-up every degree of corporate coldness (the company also offers customization services). Additionally, a number of Greenmood’s products can be infilled with felt, cork, mirror, or whiteboard finishes that can be intermixed with multi-tonal moss to offer visual complexity and further functionality.
Released earlier this year, Framed is the newest addition to the Greenmood collection. The series features four various-sized panels of tinted reindeer moss framed like a piece of art. Designed by Belgian designer Alain Gilles, the collection is defined by four abstract designs—Geometric, Landscape, Synergy, and Harmony— that artfully bring together elements of color and line in an oak wood frame. Greenmood has collaborated with Gilles on several other pieces including Modulor, Tail, Pillars, and Ring.
As millions of people head back to the office in the coming months, an even greater attention to workers’ health and the health of workplaces is necessary. If ever there was a moment to redefine the office this is it and Greenmood is here to ensure us no mossy stone will be left unturned.