Monday, 3 June 2013

How a space gains meaning-Ideal spaces for peace and happiness

 The psychological and social aspects of space when two disciplines meet real innovations can be made

           A recent review suggests that patients have recover quickly after surgery if they had access to a window with a view of the natural landscape, that certain light and color combinations increase immunity and that patients are more confident of being looked after well if they are pleasant, calming environments.
Conversely, poorly designed or dilapidated environments dissuade people from seeking help.
               Artistic, aesthetic aspirations and theories about form are in tension with the psychological and social aspects of space, but they are not eclipsed by them. The science of psychology provides some parameters for design without prescribing the end result
            When two disciplines meet real innovations can be made. Certain elements of environmental determinism can be usefully combined with a flexible system, which truly evolves with the user.
As a result of this review I would like to set out a modest manifesto. 
If architects are to design for people they should: 
  •  Be aware that psychologically healthy spaces need to be flexible enough to allow for individual differences, sub cultural differences and changing needs over time, in order to achieve a sense of ‘place’ 
  •  Be aware of certain core, universal human needs while accepting individual and cultural differences,
  • Avoid writing their own subjective scripts for what they perceive to be psychologically healthy buildings or cities, and 
  • If they can not design ideal spaces for peace and happiness, at least aim to minimize psychological and social harm by understanding how a space gains meaning.

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