One of the primary reasons I chose interior design to be my calling is my passion for designing spaces that improve lives. Good design lowers stress (decreased blood pressure), improves mental health (aids in fighting depression or PTSD), minimizes toxins that contribute to health issues (decreases risk for cancer), encourages movement (improved heart health), and enables people to stay in their homes as they age or suffer from a disability, among other good things. Healthy homes are an essential need in the human experience, no matter of socio-economic status or neighborhood.
Recently, I attended a forum in Boston discussing a partnership between ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and the Clinton Global Initiative uniting to advance Health and Wellness by engaging 11 important partners in order to establish protocols for heath and wellness in design. Interior designers have always been able to tell you that a space feels good with arguments of scale, balance, proportion, etc. Now, as a result of these strong partnerships, new research is emerging daily supporting these claims with FACTS. As a true design nerd, I find this era in design to be extremely exciting. I love being able to support my design decisions with solid explanations. It’s a great time to be a designer, and an even better time to hire a qualified and knowledgeable designer.
Here are just a few design solutions to ponder:
- Increased daylighting in hospital settings has been found to greatly reduce healing time among patients as well as greatly reduce the burn-out rate among nurses.
- Eliminating high sensory objects and design details in an environment where the user or users have autism reawakens their ability to interact with society and discourages disconnection.
- The American Cancer Society released a report in the American Journal of Epidemiology stating that men who sat for six hours or more per day had an overall death rate that was nearly 20% higher than men who sat for three hours per day or less. Women who sat for more than six hours per day had a death rate that was almost 40% higher! And dedicated exercise showed no neutralizing effect. Designing corporate work environments that encourage mobility will lead to more productive, healthy, happier people who live much longer.
Here’s a link describing the ASID / CGI partnership along with the 11 organizations helping to create health and wellness protocols that will help us all in our built environments: