Even before stay-at-home orders were put in place, my green thumb was itching, but living in a small apartment doesn’t seem to get me close enough to scratch it. So I buy flower bouquets and ivy house plants to get a little taste of what it might feel like to have a garden. There’s no denying that my plants give me a sense of calm when I work next to them. With the double whammy of the quarantine forcing us to work from home, along with the onslaught of snow with winter, some calm is much needed for all of us. Mental health is known to improve when a little bit of nature is brought indoors, which represents a core logic of biophilic design. Showcasing his own biophilic design, Jake Round recently debuted visuals for Terrarium Desk, a wall-mounted desktop that integrates a removable plant terrarium, providing a mental respite for those of us in need.

While Terrarium Desk was initially designed in order to help mitigate the mental stressors that come along with both the colder seasons and working from home in the year 2020, the desk’s compact nature might also feel inviting for city-dwellers. In other words, my wall of dried flowers might be moving out sooner than expected. Round’s design is wall-mountable and incorporates plenty of storage space for clutter that would otherwise claim space on our desktops – laptops, tablets, magazines, books, the works. At the desk’s focal point, Round placed his glass terrarium, which includes a warm light for cozy night viewings or brighter workspaces during the day. While the light can be dimmed, the terrarium itself is always in sight, whether the desk is opened or closed.

When closed, the desk’s minimal front face hinges at and displays the plant life inside the terrarium. When opened, the desk’s terrarium promotes your focus by stimulating brain function and emitting oxygen as well as positive carbons. What’s to gain from caring for houseplants might appear as just a list of temporary relievers, but they each hold their own weight. While the list of mental health benefits is short and more attainable when put to practice, the peace that comes with it could stay awhile.

Designer: Jake Round

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