It has been estimated that the average person spends around 80% – 90% of their time indoors, which makes our indoor surroundings important. What if our interior design could be impacting on our well-being? Well, it could be, and that is why neuroarchitecture is around.
Neuroarchitecture is the study of the psychological and emotional impact that architectural and interior design can have on your well-being.
Designs Influence On Individuals
Designers and architects understand the influence that designs can have on the way an individual uses them and how they experience them. Paired with neurological research, it is believed that buildings can be created to achieve a specific objective, for example a less stressful office space, a more focused school environment or a hospital that facilitates recovery.
What Is The Benefit To Understanding How Designs Can Affect Our Feelings?
The challenge is to understand why there are places that encourage or hinder certain moods. It is more complex than just looking at light and colour to understand the influence on people’s frame of mind. The idea is to be able to apply these discoveries to the design and construction of spaces to improve our well being.
Almost all past architecture and interior design movements have been chosen by a current aesthetic style or philosophy that drives them. Neuroarchitecture is the opposite of this, as the movement embodies the people that will be impacted by the design.
Are Individual Preferences Considered In Neuroarchitecture?
It is common knowledge that people respond to design differently. There is no universal reaction to one singular space, and neuroscientists take this onboard when proposing their research and designs.
Different demographics such as age, cultural background and possibly gender might dictate our personal preferences.
However there are some common problems faced by everyone when choosing a home, that date back to prehistoric time. Choosing the right location is the big one. Whether this is for a bird trying to build a nest on a sturdy branch or a human choosing to live in the city for easy access.
How It Can Help Us To Understand Popular Furniture Designs?
It has been found that humans still unconsciously prefer locations in an area where they feel protected and the ability to sense their surroundings. The popularity of the wing back chair might be related to this. Small alcoves set in larger spaces are often the place that people gravitate towards.
Neuro-Architects highlight an importance of being able to inhabit different types of spaces within your home.
What Are Some Of The Main Stimuli In Your Home?
The level and colour of light can have an impact on your brain. While an intense white light activates your brain, warm, softer lighting can help reduce your levels of stress.
Unnatural blue lighting can negatively impact your sleep cycle, as it tricks your body into thinking it’s day time. Be aware of this when choosing artificial lighting for rooms you spend time in during the evening. TVs and computer screens have been known to emit blue light, a better night’s sleep could be encouraged by turning these off before you go to sleep.
Try to include different sources of light. Use dimmers in rooms that you spend time in the morning and evening. This gives you the option of the level of light in the room.
Design styles such as biophilic and ecological design are based on evidence from extensive research that green surroundings and natural materials have a beneficial effect on your health. While plants in your home have been found to reduce stress and improve concentration, a great plant to incorporate in your home is an air-purifying plant. They refresh the air which has the benefit of increasing positive feelings. The most effective plants are Peace Lilies, Snake Plants and Aloe Vera, and all of these are low maintenance.
Rounded edges have been found to make individuals feel more relaxed compared to sharp angles. Studies have found that round decor is perceived as more friendly. Soft geometry used through your interior is a great way to create a flow throughout your home.
Our sense of smell can sometimes be overlooked, but the right scent for your home can help enhance your space. With different scents creating different feelings, you can plan the scent in your home to individual rooms. Natural scents encourage relaxation which will be effective in your living room. For your home office or kitchen, citrus scents can make you feel more awake and productive. Using lavender scents in the bedroom can help encourage a better night’s sleep.
Colours act on different areas of our brains which can affect our mood. Organic colours that are common to find in nature, often trigger a calming and serene effect on our moods. Intense colours such as red, orange and yellow the brain so wouldn’t be recommended for the colour to be used a lot in rooms that are meant for relaxing. These stimulating colours are recommended as feature colours, compared to calming colours that are great to use on walls and large areas.
Well-balanced temperature is important for creating a comfortable environment. Our brain is very sensitive to sudden temperature changes which may impact our cognitive performance and on an emotional level, cause hostility.
Items strewn around your home can cause you to feel drained, stressed and chaotic. Subconsciously, when we walk past clutter our brain decides whether to put it away or leave it, hence it has a negative impact on the brain. It causes it to constantly be thinking and making decisions.
A designated junk draw is great for items that you don’t know whether to throw away yet or to keep.
The Key To Approaching Neuroarchitecture At Home
Understanding yourself and how proposed designs will impact the way you feel. For example, if you are a strong introvert, a large open-plan home may not make you feel comfortable.
If you are looking for a new home, think back to past experience for clues on what works for you. Try to create a design that works for your lifestyle and makes tasks easier. Put objects and furniture in logical places, and put more thought into your design, not just whether it looks nice, but is it beneficial?
Neuroarchitecture is a relatively new and exciting design concept, with enough research the idea is to design cities of the future that will improve the health and social relationships of their inhabitants.