The requisites for sensory stimulation: elevation through design The scientific fact that humans are healthier when their senses are stimulated is rarely fully articulated in design. When consciously crafted for touch, smell, sound, taste, and, of course, sight, designed objects and environments provide a fullness of experience. So far, design knows a great deal about vision, and design education has been built almost exclusively around what is seen: there are many excellent examples of how visual experiences evoke strong visceral responses. However, this knowledge must be augmented with an equal depth of understanding of the other senses.
When doing desk work, it is commonplace to find ourselves looking up to take in the world surrounding us while we contemplate a problem. After focusing intensely on the task at hand, we are temporarily mentally diverted by the reflection of light from a passing vehicle or the rustling of leaves in trees.
On returning to the papers on the desk only moments later, our mind has cleared and we can study the problem with renewed energy and greater clarity. Small house plans Designers need to consider these subtle occurrences and employ the design equivalents
Of nature’s bounty. This is not to suggest that they must literally incorporate nature indoors (although there are successful examples that use running water and trees): a mix of pattern, color, and texture combined with a change in the scale, shape, and size of design elements can create the desired stimulation.
In addition to developing a greater knowledge of the senses, the field of design should undertake the study of movement. Motion, literal or perceived, can be used to achieve mental calmness or activity. While motion producing calm may seem contradictory, consider the psychological effects of gently flowing water. Although light on surface patterns (the rough grain of wood on a door or furniture surface, a printed or woven textile, hammered steel, the layering of brickwork) may not actually move, it seems to flow. Patterns that mesmerize people in the same way as dancing flames or the surface ripples of running water can be identified and intentionally utilized as sensory stimulants. When our focus is captured by movements like these, the deeper mind is left free to concentrate on the task at hand. Movement and motion as design elements are present in any successfully supportive environment.
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