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Designing for Wellbeing

Understanding the Basics of Neuroaesthetics in Interior Design

Monocle Westboro- Drake Khan Design

Interior design is not only about creating visually stunning and functional spaces but it can also play a vital role in promoting wellbeing. This is where the concept of neuroaesthetics comes in. Neuroaesthetics is the scientific study of the neural mechanisms of the brain and its response to beauty and aesthetics. When used in interior design, it can help create a visual environment that supports the physiological and psychological needs of its occupants, essentially improving the mental wellbeing of the space's users.

The elements to consider:

Designing spaces that promote mental wellbeing requires a deep understanding of the neuroaesthetics of design. One of the primary ways to design for mental wellbeing is by creating environments that reduce stress and promote relaxation. When designing such spaces here are some key elements to consider:

1. Biophilic design

Incorporating natural elements like plants, water, and natural materials can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.

2. Lighting

Exposure to natural light is essential for healthy circadian rhythms. Incorporating windows and skylights, and using circadian lighting systems can provide occupants with a healthy dose of natural light.

3. Acoustics

Noise pollution is a major cause of stress. Incorporating acoustic design elements like sound-absorbing materials and white noise systems canhelp create a calming environment.

4. Colour Psychology

Color is perhaps the most crucial factor in creating a space that is pleasing to the eye. Whether it's the color of walls, furniture, or décor, color can impact our mood, emotions, and perceptions. Research has shown that colors can affect our autonomic nervous system, which influences heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration.

Examples of Neuroaesthetic in spaces:

1. Google Pancras Square, London, UK

Designed to create a peaceful environment, the interior uses natural materials, ample natural light, and calming colors to create an atmosphere that inspires knowledge and supports collaboration.


2. W Hotel in Guangzhou, China

The hotel offers guests a unique experience by incorporating color, natural materials, plants, as well as a custom fragrance to create a relaxing atmosphere.

W Hotel Guangzhou- Yabu Pushelberg, Glyph, AFSO, A.N.D., DesignWilkes

3. The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Canada

Designed to promote healing and recovery, the internal spaces provide natural light, nature-inspired artwork, and calming colours, all aimed at reducing stress.

CAMH Toronto- Stantec Architecture Ltd.


Ultimately, the goal of designing spaces for mental wellbeing is to improve the quality of life for building occupants and promote a healthier mind-body connection. By understanding the basics of neuroaesthetics, designers can create spaces that promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance mental wellbeing, achieving perfectly balanced spaces conducive to mental wellbeing.


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