The Science Behind Interior Design and Architecture
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Image from Architectural Digest The Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA is an icon of 20th century architecture. Why do we feel the way we do in the spaces we're in? How does interior design and architecture affect our mood? A recent conference in La Jolla, California, brought together leading thinkers in neuroscience and architecture to address this question. Held at the iconic Louis Kahn designed Salk Institute (pictured above), this was a great venue within which to contemplate space. "The human response to architecture is usually based on subjective emotions: I like that building, I hate this space; this room is so open, this office is oppressive," explains Nate Berg in a review of the event. "But something more nuanced is happening to elicit these responses." Image from Architectural Digest This home by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects is unwittingly a model for healthy design. The residence pictured above illustrates a number of the key findings from the conference. Ample light (sunlight in particular) leads to a heightened sense of happiness. Clean and organized layouts lead to a general sense of calm. And an unchanging floorplan can be absolutely vital to those with disabilities such as limited mobility, alzheimers, etc., who often rely on consistency to help them navigate their world. All in all, the conference focused primarily on design at the theoretical level, but addressing such issues at home needn't be such a heady affair. Decorative mirrors are masterful at brightening a room. Place them opposite or perpendicular to windows to reflect and amplify the effect of natural light on your space. Uttermost Jules Beveled Glass Round Wall Mirror , Paradox Brushed Nickel Rectangle Wall Mirror Outdoor LED security lights are excellent for your home's exterior. They keep walkways and paths safe (an absolute must for disabled residents) and help deter would-be burglars. Plus, LED designs are long-lasting and energy efficient. Bronze Dual Head Solar LED Outdoor Security Light , Wynnsboro Bronze with Clear Glass Outdoor Up and Downlight And of course, keeping a clean house helps maintain an overall sense of calm throughout your space. And that's one point it doesn't take a brain surgeon to understand.