It’s no secret that the gaming industry, like so many others, is grappling with a host of operational changes strong-armed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a moment where people are acutely aware of how close their surroundings are and how tactile daily life is, the question we must ask is how casino developments will adapt to increased biophilia—in other words, our innate desire to connect with nature. Casinos have trailed far behind the rest of the hospitality industry when it comes to blurring the line between the built environment and nature, and our current situation is propelling this lagging initiative. But how easy will it be to steer from the path that has led casinos to become a dark box typology? Many designers are now working with clients across the gaming and entertainment markets to proactively incorporate the natural environment into these experience-centric developments.
Biophilic Design: Connecting With the Natural World
The philosophy behind nature-inspired, or biophilic design, is simple: humans are fundamentally engineered to seek connections with the natural world. Historically, a global increase in urbanization has led to a massive rise in the desire for access to fresh air and green spaces—a trend that has skyrocketed since the onset of COVID-19. Casino developments, like many urban centers, are underutilizing their natural assets. This is as true for properties that are densely located, as it is for properties in remote destinations. By strategically harnessing the natural environment, we can create guest experiences that are more dynamic, more hospitable, and more compelling to the ever-diversifying casino guest. This is an exercise in expanding revenue streams and encouraging longer stays, while at the same time minimizing health risks.