Have you noticed how deeply the space you’re at right at this moment is impacting you? No? So I invite you to stop, close your eyes, take a deep breath, open your eyes again, and start looking around paying attention to every aspect that may be having an influence on you. Is the light bright or soft, yellow or white? What’s the sound like? Can you smell anything? If so, is it pleasant or not? What position are you at now? If seated, what’s the feeling of the fabric of your seat against your skin?
These are only a few of the many factors that can (and will) affect the impressions that we have from a place. This means that the EXPERIENCES we have about a space are closely connected with how this space is DESIGNED.
The way we perceive the space is a complex process that happens to a part of the brain called Parahippocampal Place Area. It’s a complex process, but the most interesting thing about it is that our response to this perception is so strong that it can make us heal faster, be more productive at work, spend more time in a shop, learn better, or even improve our immune system.
These issues are so important they are leading to a design revolution, a new way of thinking about buildings. More than having the right apertures or a minimum floor area, the QUALITY of the space is proving to be what matters the most!
You must be thinking: so, what can we do to have better EXPERIENCES in a built space? First of all, if you are thinking about designing, building or renovating your house, office, shop, restaurant, etc., you should look for a good and tuned in qualified building designer. This is (no doubt) the first step towards a good or great result.
Ok, but you want to know WHAT are these aspects that can have such a strong effect on us are right? So here we go…
- NATURE: Yes, greenery is the most important factor to make us happy, calm, de-stressed and healthy. Why? Because despite of living urban lives surrounded by sophisticated machines, our body is still connected to our primitive self, where being in nature had meanings of safety, food, shelter, and connection;
- SENSE OF DAY LIGHT: being aware of what time of the day it is, what season of the year, and even how the weather is outside provides a sense of awe to us. This makes us feel safer and grounded, thus happier and healthier;
- DESIGN FOR THE SENSES: we commonly see design caring mainly (or only) about the visual senses. That’s a huge mistake. As we move, our body sees, smells, touches, hears and even tastes within a space, and this is what brings LIFE to design!
Aspects like Social Interaction, Territoriality and Personal Space also have a direct relation with design. An example of this is how the furniture arrangement can influence people’s behaviour.
A lot isn’t it? We agree! But fascinating as well! The power of design on a persons feelings can deliver amazing experiences when used well. Memories about a place that made you feel amazed are unforgettable, and you’ll carry this for the rest of your life. At the same time, if you have spent years working in a claustrophobic office with no windows and not even a single plant - that has has caused you some harm…
Having this in mind, now you know how IMPORTANT it is for you to have the right orientation when building or renovating your house. At the end of the day, you’re designing a place where EXPERIENCES will be lived!
October 3, 2018