Environment impacts the state of people’s mind and mood and the structure and layout of buildings has a profound impact on people. Building space has a specific impact on people’s life.
The psychological effects of architecture are difficult to prove, but difficulty doesn’t dilute the value of a building that hits the right notes and creates a sense of awe. Each building type has different functions, and for each there’s an imperative to use the building to help create an optimal mood, desire or sense of coherence, security or meaning.
In 1966, a British planner Maurice Broady came up with a new term for the architectural lexicon, architectural determinism.
This was to describe the practice of groundlessly asserting that design solutions would change behavior in a predictable and positive way.
It was a new phrase but the belief system behind it – that buildings shape behavior – had allowed the heroes of architecture to make all kinds of outlandish claims.
Most of us don’t believe that architecture effects on our lives, but it is a totally wrong concept. Nearly every moment of every day is influenced by it.
You are constantly in and surrounded by buildings, and these spaces affect how you feel. A dark space can leave you feeling cold, dampening your mood. The size and layout of a space can affect your ability to undertake a task.
In contrast we all have experienced a beautiful space, admiring and appreciating it, and with that felt joy in occupying it for that time.
Walking in a city surrounded by beautiful architecture gives us joy and fulfillment, while dark, old and obscure architecture take us to depression, cold attitude and dampening your mood.
Numerous studies show that buildings can impact a person’s health, and as citizens of modern societies spend 90 per cent of their time indoors, this is more important than ever.
First and foremost buildings and urban spaces should be designed around their occupants.
Research has shown that visible light helps the human body to regulate the production of the hormone melatonin, which in turn helps to regulate our body clock, affecting sleep patterns and digestion.
“Visible light also helps to stimulate the body’s production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which can reduce the symptoms of depression.”
But the truth is that creating the “perfect” space is an impossible, and subjective, balancing act between form and function. This is made harder by the fact that architects do not have the luxury of creating a prototype outside of computer or physical models, and are restricted by laws and often tight budgets.
“Negative” spaces are never deliberately constructed,” says Dr Raymond Lucas, head of architecture at the Manchester university, adding: “Building design is complex, and it is impossible to predict everything about a space before it is built.”
“Sustainability involves a move from a current condition of unsustainable activity towards a process of improvement and increased quality. Essentially the term is used to indicate a change of attitude towards prioritizing ways of life that are in balance with the current renewable resources of the ecosystem and the biosphere”.
It is more than important to understand the importance of making the environment better, to support it and to try to sustain it with beautiful and joyful designs.
The residential and commercial architectural designs are either functionally designed and aesthetically pleasing or not, and incorporated in nature or not.
As an example, in regards to certain commercial architectural designs, the buildings which are not aesthetically pleasing designs and have poor lighting or no natural lighting and no open space designs; had a negative affect on behavior and employee morale. In these types of architectural designs employees feel confined and crowded.
In many major cities there are a lot of skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. Living in this kind of environment can be depressing. However, the buildings which are not very tall and they are far from each other, there is much space or distance between buildings. Living in this cities people feel more relaxed and study and work at a slower pace.
Similarly to the beautiful fragile butterfly in the maze like architecture, we find that the architecture of the city effects our thinking and feelings.
Does the architecture of your environment have any effect on you?