What is Neurodesign?
Within the field of interior design, I got just the answer you’re looking for! But first, let me tell you about my first encounter with it …
Last October, my mom and I flew to Stockholm to visit my younger sister who studies ballet there. Despite being just an hour’s flight away, it was my first time in the charming Swedish capital. As we wandered the old cobbled streets of gamla stan, I stumbled upon a very interesting shop named after the street itself — Gamla Stan — full of instagrammable knick-knacks, all which seemed to have a considerable price tag, too.
That’s when I laid my eyes on the big black book decorated with a gilded emblem: Neurodesign. I fell in love with it at first sight. Sure, its cover design had mostly to do with it, but I didn’t merely judge it by its cover (literally), but as I skimmed through its pages, something bothered me — why hadn’t I heard about Neurodesign before!?
We exited the shop. Had a dreamy chocolate cake at a café, and while the sugar rushed through me and I got excited, I knew I just had to get the book. It took us another hour to find the shop again, and when we finally found it, I grabbed the book, paid, and left. And that’s how my affair with Neurodesign began.
So what is Neurodesign?
As described by the authors Isabelle Sjövall and Katarina Gospic, Neurodesign is a concept that combines neuroscience and interior design. Combining these two seemingly disconnected fields gives us the ability to design optimized environments that help us by promoting health, performance, and wellbeing.
Neurodesign revolves around us, humans, and how we feel in any given environment or space. This is where neuroscience fits into the picture of Interior Design. Neurodesign simply makes us aware that environments really do have an effect on us through how we feel or through our emotions.
Neurodesign combines neuroscience with interior design.
It’s about designing environments that promote health, performance, and wellbeing
by decoding how certain factors in a space make us feel.
Finally, there’s a word that coins the importance of Interior Design! In a previous post, The Importance of Residential Interior Design, I wrote:
I’m going to go bold and say that the importance of residential design is that it improves lives. (When done right, of course.) Most people aren’t aware of it, however, and I believe the world should be more conscious of the effects our surroundings have on us, especially in our homes where we spend most of our time.
I’ve fallen in love with the concept of Neurodesign because it backs up my belief that interior design improves lives.
The Importance of Neurodesign
Everything revolves around us, humans. We are the center of everything we do and hope to achieve. If not for ourselves, then for other people. Neurodesign is all about us and how we can live better lives through optimizing our environments.
I also wrote:
And the key to achieving comfort in interior design is to go beyond just the visual (collectively: space, color, and lighting). Exceptional interior design addresses all senses; it includes the sense of hearing and of touch, and even the sense of smell. By engaging all senses, true harmony in a space can be achieved.
Well, turns out I was right! Neurodesign spells it all out, specifically how we are affected by certain sights, smells, sounds, and much more. It explains what physiologically goes on in our brains when different senses are triggered and stimulated, and how that, in turn, affects how we feel.
And how we feel ultimately affects our health. In their foreword, Isabelle and Katarina write that in spite of scientific findings around how our surroundings influence us, there are still very few who invest time, energy and money into creating better environments.
In offices, for example, that leads to more sick leaves and less performance, which end up affecting the overall performances of companies. They argue that it is about seeing the bigger picture; about what is genuinely sustainable.
The importance of Neurodesign is that it makes us aware that
environments ultimately affect our health.
It’s a bold statement, yes, and Isabelle and Katarina have proven it through their research which they share in their book. In their foreword, they end with this:
Ultimately, [Neurodesign] is a matter of health, wellbeing, and efficiency.
Therefore it’s time to anchor the science behind the field of interior design.
The fusion of two different disciplines creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Among many things, their book touches on
- beauty and our constant search for balance
- how we perceive space; how we are connected to nature
- the sense of sight, smell, and hearing
- how we are affected by light and temperature
It explores how our brains react to different stimuli we encounter in our day-to-day environments.
I’ll be sharing with you what I learn here on the blog! If you haven’t already, subscribe to my email list so you can receive blog updates straight into your inbox. ♥︎