When we talk about designing our home, happiness may seem somewhat subjective. Still, more and more architects and designers are turning to scientific data to find evidence that the way we design a building affects our mental health. In addition, there are neuroscientific studies that provide evidence for architects to design buildings that improve the well-being of their inhabitants.
"We use the term neuroarchitecture to describe how the brain and body behave in buildings," says Eve Edelstein, a researcher, and pioneer in the field of neuroarchitecture. "Our brain's senses, perception, emotions, and responses have to do with the air we breathe, the quality of light, the intensity of sounds, the color, texture, and dimensions of the space we inhabit."
- Incorporate 'quiet spaces in your home
"We live in a society that is overworked and overstimulated, and this has a huge impact on our well-being," says Itai Palti. Unfortunately, our homes are often the only place where we have a choice in the number of stimuli to which we expose ourselves."
Palti recommends incorporating quiet areas within the home. "You have to create spaces that are free of digital distractions and conducive to interactions with family and friends. This doesn't necessarily mean a minimalist room; it can be a balcony to do some gardening or a playroom, for example."
"For me, the most microarchitectural principle is to design around people, not television," says Eve Edelstein. "You have to create quiet places to be able to study or read and design places that bring people together."
- Make the most of natural light
Natural light is key to maintaining the body's natural rhythm. "Think carefully about where to place windows to let sunlight flood the interiors, and place curtains and furniture to enjoy the morning light fully, but also to protect you from the heat and keep any light out at night," says Edelstein.
- Plan artificial light and disconnect from technology.
In addition to maximizing daylight, it is also crucial to minimize the amount of artificial light - especially from phones and computers - at certain times of the day.
"We now know that both light and darkness are essential for our biological clock and circadian rhythms. However, our homes are saturated with artificial light and light from computers and phones. As a result, we are overexposed to light from the time we wake up until the time we go to bed," says Edelstein.
"Not being exposed to so-called blue light (from laptops and phones), or too much artificial light at night is crucial for sleep to be unaffected, as well as mood and even eating and digestion habits," says Palti.
- Reduces the amount of noise
Edelstein emphasizes the impact of sound on our daily well-being and how it affects us at different times. "The field of psychoacoustics reminds us that what in one situation is a pleasant sound in another can be very annoying. Inside our homes, we can choose where we want to direct sound when we need to concentrate, communicate or rest by using sound-absorbing materials."
For example, in this space, the architects installed acoustic panels in the standard room to avoid disturbing the neighbor. They are casement doors that can be closed at night to create a quieter space.
- Try to incorporate nature into the home
"Why do you think the movement of leaves or the reflection of water is so soothing? So why do many homeowners invest in homes with good views?" asks Edelstein.
Biophilia, defined by Edward O'Wilson in the 1980s as "the need to affiliate with other life forms," may offer explanations. Palti also highlights an article in the journal Science that notes that patients who enjoy good views in the hospital tend to recover sooner.
- Expand the space with simple solutions
Some studies show that most people think open spaces are nicer than enclosed spaces, but that doesn't mean that every area in the home has to be significant. Some people prefer small, cozy rooms," Palti explains. We believe more in the idea of focusing on the specific needs of each person."
- Flee from clutter
If you've been avoiding a good cleaning at home, we've got some scientific data that may give you the boost you need. In a study on the link between procrastination and clutter by Joseph Ferrari and Catherine Roster, respondents with messy homes were found to be more dissatisfied with their lives.