Neuroarchitecture: What is it and why is it important?
Winston Churchill beautifully quotes, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us,”. For hundreds, if not, thousands of years, builders and architects instinctively understood that our spaces have the ability to influence us.
Historically, there wasn’t really a word for it but over the last few decades, a cutting edge field, ‘neuroarchitecture’ has emerged. The practice might not be new but what is new is that we can now measure how and begin to understand why we react the way we do.
Neuroarchitecture is a discipline that’s interested in how the environment modifies brain chemistry and emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
The built environment has the power to generate various emotions which leads to change in our mental states, also impacts creativity, how we feel, decision making, memory, learning, and most importantly, our well-being and happiness.
Why is this important?
We humans are indoor creatures. It’s estimated we spend up to 90% of our time inside. So if our environment has the ability to influence our brain, it’s important to create a humane and healthy building that generates well being.
What is the potential?
Neuroarchitecture has the potential to connect dots about what matters to the human body for a positive experience. For example, spaces that help maximize the learning ability of elementary-aged children, boost work productivity or even foster healing in medical environments. It is a new and emerging field that all of us at FORM Homes are excited to explore and learn more about.
Ultimately, our vision is to build the healthiest and most comfortable homes possible using innovative materials and processes. Adding neuroarchitectural principles to our arsenal will accelerate us towards that vision.
Dr Colin Ellard, an author and professor of cognitive neuroscience in Canada, says the key lies in understanding yourself and how your proposed design will impact the way you feel.
“Your personality will, to some extent, dictate your preferences,” says Dr Ellard. “For example, if you’re a strong introvert, you’re probably not going to be happy in a large, open-plan environment.”
When you’re starting to design your house, make sure you put yourself first. Think about your personality and how your space could enhance your well being. That’s the best place to start.