WHAT IS NEUROARCHITECTURE?
Neuroarchitecture is a discipline that studies how the physical environment surrounding us can modify our brains and consequently, our behaviour. The aim is to create spaces that focus on the well-being of the people inside. Throughout the entire process, neuroarchitecture seeks to construct buildings that enhance productivity, reduce stress and ensure the quality of life of those living and working within the buildings.
This concept is a specific branch of architecture which involves a team of architects and neuroscientists working together to fulfil a common objective: designing a series of buildings that take into account the well-being of those inhabiting said buildings based on their brain functioning. Factors such as window location, wall angles, placement of the furniture, choice of colours and textures of the rooms as well as open space affect the sense of perception of the brain.
Elements that promote well-being
Before outlining these elements, it is important to clarify that this branch of neuroarchitecture does not aim to create a classification between the buildings the produce calm and those that produce more anxiety. Contrary to common belief, this branch of architecture handles concepts like projection and entrance of light or the height of the ceiling within a building, taking into account that which influences the human brain and promotes productivity, creativity and well-being of those inside. Having said that, the factors that promote well-being within a building include the following:
- The shape of the space layout
Architectural design that includes steep angles or sharp edges can subsequently result in more stress, while other areas with more rectangular shapes can produce a lesser sense of enclosed space than square floor plans.
- Interior lighting
Incorrect artificial lighting makes the human brain have to concentrate and focus a lot harder on a certain task, which notably decreases the amount of productivity achieved.
- The height of the ceilings
High ceilings appear to be better for carrying out creative and artistic activities, while, oppositely, lower ceilings make it easier to do daily and more routine tasks.
- Colours of the wall
Colours have the power to condition mood and for that matter, the attitudes and decisions that people may make that live in the building. According to neuroarchitectural studies, in general, green colours reduce heart rate, while red tones stimulate cognitive processes of the brain.
- Contact with nature
Having spaces that are open to the exterior and being located in places near natural areas are relevant factors to achieving well-being for people that are in the building. In this sense, contact with nature can benefit functioning of our brain because it allows us to disconnect and recharge.
- Extra dopamine
It is scientifically proven that when someone activates the auditive cortex zone while listening to music of their personal choice, it generates an extra quantity of dopamine, a hormone that improves the capacity to concentrate on work.
Bases of Neuroarchitecture
This branch of scientific research is based on the fact that humans spend more than 90% of our time inside buildings. Keeping in mind that the environment can influence the brain considerably, as previously developed and mentioned, this information on its own serves as a demonstration to assess the enormous relevance of constructing buildings adapted toward the inhabitants. It is necessary to build healthy living spaces to finally create at least a minimal state of well-being. Neuroarchitecture focuses both on aesthetic spaces as well as symbolic aspects.