Scientists Study How Room Designs Affect your Work and Mood

While it’s not exactly a scientific study of Feng Shui as the Chinese practice it, research is beginning to prove how room qualities such as ceiling height, views, and type of light affect peoples moods, ability to socialize, and critical thinking.   All of which lend more weight to what artists and stagers have long known…

Architects have long intuited that the places we inhabit can affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. But now, half a century after Salk’s inspiring excursion, behavioral scientists are giving these hunches an empirical basis. They are unearthing tantalizing clues about how to design spaces that promote creativity, keep students focused and alert, and lead to relaxation and social intimacy. Institutions such as the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture in San Diego are encouraging interdisciplinary research into how a planned environment influences the mind, and some architecture schools are now offering classes in introductory neuroscience.

Such efforts are already informing design, leading to cutting-edge projects, such as residences for seniors with dementia in which the building itself is part of the treatment. Similarly, the Kingsdale School in London was redesigned, with the help of psychologists, to promote social cohesion; the new structure also includes elements that foster alertness and creativity. What is more, researchers are just getting started. “All this is in its infancy,” says architect David Allison, who heads the Architecture + Health program at Clemson University. “But the emerging neuroscience research might give us even better insights into how the built environment impacts our health and well-being, how we perform in environments and how we feel in environments.” 

“Ceiling height affects the way you process information,” Meyers-Levy says. “You’re focusing on the specific details in the lower-ceiling condition.”full story

How Room Designs Affect Your Work and Mood [Scientific American Mind]

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