This fall, North Carolina’s High Point Furniture Market, a look at the latest designs in the world of furnishings, also helped redefine the role of design in our lives.
An industry that represents hundreds of billions in annual sales worldwide is about more than pretty sofas, unique trinkets and comfy mattresses. It is also a factor that can impact our well-being, a fact that is firmly embraced by the design community.
At the last Market, the word of the moment was “neuroesthetics”, the convergence of science and design for the benefit of the consumer. The term was coined in the late 1990s by Semir Zeki, a neuroscientist and professor at the University of London.
The field has since gathered a growing body of evidence that design, architecture, visual and performing arts, and digital media have significant power when it comes to positively impacting biology and human behavior.
To advance the dialogue on this aspect of design, Hooker Furnishings, one of the nation’s largest publicly traded furniture companies, delved into the science of design in a seminar attended by Mike Peterson, president of Science in Design, an organization that teaches interior designers the positive aspects of design. effects of fine design on people’s physical and emotional health, with the aim of raising awareness of the industry’s healing industry.
“The future of medicine is at home,” Peterson said.
Science now confirms what interior designers and architects – and everyone who has derived comfort from their homes – instinctively knew: the spaces around us not only shape our moods, they can also make us healthier .
“Architects and designers have a greater capacity to improve public health than medical professionals,” said Dr. Claudia Miller, professor of occupational and environmental medicine at the Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. Health from the University of Texas.
In addition to Hooker, Science in Design has also partnered with Benjamin Moore, 3M, Phillips Collection and Trio on a certification course that designers can use to integrate neuroaesthetics into residential and commercial projects.
Humans respond emotionally to their environments, so it stands to reason that improving the environment in which people live is key to improving health. At the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics at the University of Pennsylvania, researchers are currently examining the role of the built environment on individual well-being and how the human body is designed to respond to specific stimuli from inhabited places.
To create spaces that respond to this answer, 3M created Visual Attention Software (VAS), software that predicts what attracts the subliminal brain, the key to deciphering what motivates humans, since out of 11 million bits of information, the human brain can process every second. , only 50 of them are managed by the conscious mind.
“Your animal nature rules you,” Peterson added.
Animal nature has defined what we like in our environment. For example, we generally avoid repetitive parallel lines because they tend to stress the brain and promote headaches, probably because our ancestors from long, long ago lived in forests where there was no There were hardly any straight lines, let alone many straight lines.
On the other hand, endless patterns of non-regular geometric shapes called fractals make us feel good. Fractals arise naturally, their infinite complexity coming from relatively simple equations. Think about the wonder of snowflakes.
Because humans evolved in a natural fractal-like environment, we never tire of them. Research has proven that these building blocks of natural patterns reduce stress and improve our physical health by drawing our eyes away from the digital world and subtly conveying the essence of nature to the built environment.
As the industry moves toward increased awareness of neuroaesthetics, consumers will experience the physical benefits of design through options like Relaxing Floors, a modular carpet tile system designed by 13&9 in collaboration with Fractals Research and Mohawk Group.
The collection taps into consumers’ natural desire for fractals with stress-reducing biophilic designs. Just being in a room with such patterns is good for you, without your conscious response even needing to intervene.
The need for a pleasurable aesthetic experience, a need embedded in our DNA, is not optional, but rather imperative to our well-being.
This article originally appeared on Florida Today: What Is Neuroaesthetics and How Is It Used in Furniture Design? Continue reading