Environmental Psychology: What Every Architect Should Ask Themselves

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Image Credit: © Ratoca | Dreamstime
Image Credit: © Ratoca | Dreamstime

Understanding principles about environmental psychology will help architects to design with greater awareness. The following are ten important questions inspired by some of the major themes that make up the study of environmental psychology.

 

Although some may look simple at first glance, the questions are really quite complex as you delve into the inner-workings of human perception, cognition and behavior. The more you understand about how occupants interact with their environments, the better your designs will be.

 

You should keep these questions in your “mental toolbox” as you design:

 

  1. How do you get your occupants attention?
  2. What will occupants remember most about this design?
  3. How will this architecture impact their real-time experiences?
  4. Is this architectural environment coherent?
  5. Can this architectural environment be explored?
  6. Will occupants enjoy the variety and complexity of this design?
  7. Does my design promote opportunities for occupant discovery?
  8. Can occupants manage and escape from stress in this environment?
  9. Does my design promote healthy social interactions?
  10. Is there a sense of community fostered in this architecture?

For more information about the words in italics (within the questions) read the following article about environmental psychology. Here is the link: Environmental Psychology

 

Reference:

(1) Young, R. Environmental Psychology.Encyclopedia of Environmental Psychology. 1998.

About the author

Maria Lorena Lehman

Maria Lorena Lehman is a visionary artist, designer, and author focusing on links between environmental design, science, emerging technologies, and human potential. Lehman is founder of MLL Atelier, an art-based architectural design research practice. Maria Lorena Lehman is author of the award-winning book entitled, Adaptive Sensory Environments. She is recipient of the Harvard University Digital Design Prize for the "most creative use of digital media in relation to the design professions". Lehman also creates sculptures and paintings described as "visual poetry of motion that is a new inspiration" by Daniel Smith, the company that creates watercolors for artists worldwide. Maria Lorena Lehman holds the degrees of Master in Design with Distinction from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Architecture, Cum Laude, from Virginia Tech. She is internationally published and in numerous periodicals, including The Architect's Journal, Esquisses Magazine, Architect Magazine and Forbes.