Friday, September 24, 2010

Reading: Building around the Mind

"Building around the Mind" by Emily Anthes, Scientific American Mind April/May 2009, pages 52-59

"Brain research can help us craft spaces that relax, inspire, awaken, comfort and heal"

"Architects have long intuited that the places we inhabit can affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Now behavioral scientists are giving their hunches an empirical basis."

"Scientists are unearthing tantalizing clues about how to design spaces that promote creativity, keep students focused and alert, and lead to relaxation and social intimacy. The results inform architectural and design decisions such as the height of ceilings, the view from windows, the shape of furniture, and the type and intensity of lighting."

This article discussed the effects of architecture on the human mind. It had in interesting story about how Jonas Stalk and how he teamed up with Louis Kahn to build the Salk Institute as the place to creative scientific breakthroughs. A study in 2007 proved that people are more creative in spaces with taller ceilings. It makes us feel less physically constrained and able to think bigger. Another study published in 2000 showed that having windows to the outside improves scored higher on tests. It proved that having a view to nature has a calming effect and improves focus.

For me, this article continued my thinking about how adding technology to our environment will affect us. Will the technology be beneficial to our well being or will it just cause us stress?

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