New research into how architecture and design can enhance our performance will be showcased in Tye Farrow’s latest book . Titled ‘Constructing Health: An Exploration of Generous Architecture Through the Neurological, Psychological, and Emotional Benefits of Enriched Environments’, it will be on shelves from May 2024.
Diving into how we construct health, the new publication marries research from cognitive psychology and neuroscience with intentional design to uncover how we can reduce environmental damage while enhancing wellbeing.
Incorporating psychology and neuroscience into design
Renowned for his pioneering approach to architecture, Farrow’s interdisciplinary book looks at wellbeing through the lens of salutogenic design – space designed to actively enhance creativity, wellness, physical health, and mental wellbeing.
The field of salutogenic design discusses how everything we create will impact health. Through this lens, the role of architecture and design is to actively engage optimal health through environmental enrichment.
According to Constructing Health, pairing research of the neurological benefits of enriched environments with design best practice could be the answer to optimal health.
Fostering wellbeing, building design can help us in our daily lives via utilisation elements such as natural light, improved air quality, or biophilic design.
The benefits of environmental enrichment
While proposing architecture as a health-generating system is no new concept, Farrow’s new book is set to provide extra insight to the science of why and how. Previous research has outlined the benefits of biophilic design as a proven approach to supporting cognitive function, physical health, and mental wellbeing. In April 2023, research from PLP Labs saw a 200% uplift in employee well-being from offices with more greenery and views of nature. Enhancing the connection between humans and nature benefits both our personal wellbeing and workplace productivity.
Through the lens of healthy materials, PLP Lab’s Savannah Willits also explored bio-based materials’ place in design, uncovering the positive impacts on people and the planet, alongside performance-based advantages. Incorporating natural materials with our daily environment, such as wood or stone, creates a distinct sense of place and belonging for occupants.
Constructing healthy environments
So, how can our physical space encourage optimal health? Intentional design and environmental enrichment is vital for wellbeing. The space where we socialise and work plays a pivotal role in improving, or limiting, our ability to thrive. In many ways, our senses alert us to hostile or welcoming environments, with design elements triggering our brain to interact accordingly. Designing space to enhance our experience benefits both our direct interaction and our long-term wellbeing.
Work in Mind looks forward to sharing more upon the Constructing Health release date, so be sure to watch this space.
Work in Mind is a content platform designed to give a voice to thinkers, businesses, journalists and regulatory bodies in the field of healthy buildings.