In Rhythm With Nature: A Digital Wellbeing Experiment in Collaboration With Google Arts & Culture

In Rhythm With Nature

IAM Lab is proud to partner with Google Arts & Culture and Google’s Wellbeing Lab in a digital wellbeing experiment called “In Rhythm With Nature”, inspired by the flower clock of botanist and zoologist Carl Linnaeus.

Launched on World Mental Health Day, this virtual experience transports viewers to see and hear the relaxing movement of various floral species and sounds of nature, while automatically syncing to each user’s location and time. Incorporating artist Anna Glover’s biophilic designs, ambient soundscapes and prompts to “Breathe In, Breathe Out” create an online setting that allows us to recall the power of nature’s ability to calm and heal.

We’re Just Like Them

Like our plant friends, humans also respond to changes in the environment through a circadian rhythm. This 24-hour internal clock seated in the brain helps to regulate our sleep-wake cycle. From morning to afternoon, we move into an increasingly alert state before downshifting in the evening to prepare for nighttime sleep. “In Rhythm with Nature” honors our circadian rhythms by synchronizing its sights and sounds to the user’s local time.

We offer this experience as digital refreshment for the mind, allowing us to take a break and enjoy a healthful dose of Mother Nature anywhere, anytime.

A Dose of Nature

Exposure to the natural world can boost our moods, lessen anxiety, promote physical activity, and even improve interactions with our neighbors.

What is nature’s secret? It may come down to nature’s ability to lower our stress levels and improve our sleep quality. These improvements to our underlying biology may account for the growing evidence that nature experiences can prevent the development of mental illnesses, such as depression, anxiety disorders, and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Humans are innately drawn to the natural world. Scientists refer to our love affair with nature and living things as ‘biophilia,’ a term popularized by biologist E.O. Wilson. In his book, Wilson theorized that our early ancestors evolved to take a particular interest in natural phenomena that suggested opportunities (food) or threats (predators) to survival.

Today, biophilia is encoded in our DNA, but our interest in nature is less about day-to-day survival and more centered on pleasure. And yet, exposure to nature may be essential to our longevity in the 21st century, particularly when it comes to our mental health and wellbeing.

A Natural Retreat

Nature refreshes our minds by keeping us in the present moment, similar to the practice of mindfulness meditation.

Planning, managing, and taking care of daily tasks can become very stressful if we do not take the occasional break. Out in nature, we can allow our minds to drift without the pressure of having to make immediate decisions or solve problems. While the natural world can be captivating, scientists believe it doesn’t demand too much of our directed attention.

This natural retreat from the daily grind helps restore us to a state of mind where we can think more clearly and calmly. Time in nature and mindfulness techniques, like guided breathwork, both offer these benefits, and when combined, the benefits are even greater.

Earthly Designs

Biophilic design considers the restorative benefits of nature and incorporates nature experiences into our environment, both physical and virtual. That’s right—even simulations of nature, such as videos featuring natural landscapes or immersive VR experiences, have been shown to reduce physiological and psychological signs of stress. These virtual options make nature and its benefits more accessible when you can’t easily enjoy the great outdoors.

Through mindfulness, connection, and a multi-sensory experience, “In Rhythm With Nature” highlights the power of nature in helping us find calm – wherever we are.

Art Brain Science Creativity Health IAM Lab Mental Health Music Nature Neuroaesthetics Sound Tech Wellbeing