In todays research into happiness, a wide array of aspects is discussed on how to lead a satisfying and rewarding life. Things like relationships, positive thinking and doing things you love are in focus. Although, there is one aspect that everyone seems to be missing, one aspect that affects our life on a deep and meaningful level. That factor is the physical environment in which we spend our lives; The buildings we work in, the pavements where we take our morning walk and the playgrounds where we made our most dearest childhood memories.
Is it a mere coincidence that the people living in Hawaii, a country well-known for their white beaches and turquoise oceans, is ranked as one of the most happiest places around the world? Is it a coincident that worn-down, poor districts, mostly made up of concrete, is over represented in the statistics of mental-illness?
If we look past the aspect of happiness and instead look at our mental performance, we can out of our own experience witness that some places are considerately better for focus and concentration, than others. According to an experiment published in Science the year 2009, psychologist from the university of Columbia, claimed that the color of the wall had an impact on our mental performance. When the wall was blue, the test subjects performed badly on tests focusing on short-term memory. Although when it came to creative and abstract thinking, they instead excelled. The explanation to this was deeply rooted in the psychology and the associations we have with deep blue skies and oceans, which is something we learned from childhood is associated with calmness and relaxation. This relaxation in turn lead to an increase in creativity.
That the physical environment has an impact on how we think and act is obvious. It is partly the reason why the search for a nice home is so central in our lives; we are constantly looking for a new and better physical environment. We do this by looking for the nicest residence, renovate and make nice interior design, but also by moving and traveling to beautiful places. That is what this blog will be about – how we interact with our environment and how the environment interacts with us, especially through an architectural perspective.