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Mental Health and Architecture

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answered 12:21 PM EST, Mon September 02, 2013
anonymous anonymous
Anti-anxiety interior design and architecture. Is there any such thing? I want to know more about designing a healing space based on psychological principles. You know how some rooms make you feel really comfortable and some rooms make you feel really tense. Round rooms are womb like and embracing… I am designing a house for a family member with a lot of mental problems and I want it to feel very serene. I would like to base my design on psychology rather than feng shui. I would like to use social psychology principles to encourage interaction in communal spaces and calm and serenity in private areas. Where can I find scientifically backed information on things like what shapes for rooms, what colors for different spaces, how clean vs homey to make the design and many more questions. What type of person can advise me on these issues or even help with design. I am not just looking for an interior designer who can make things seem relaxing, I am looking for scientific purpose-built design first, and then interior design finishing second.

E W Says...

Wow - a fascinating question!  Architecture and interior design for mental health!  As of right now, I do not know if such a field exists or if such research exists.  There was a study or two about color and prison inmates (blue was found to be soothing) but I am not aware of any specific studies about architecture for anti-anxiety.  There are facilities built with mental health population needs in mind - and folks who build those sorts of things may know of where to start or how to help...  If you find anything that works, please let us know!

I did a quick google search:

Architects for Health, http://www.architectsforhealth.com/

Behavioral Health Design, http://www.bernarch.com/Healthcare-Psychiatric.htm 

The International Academy for Design and Health, http://www.designandhealth.com/ 

The final answers may not be found there, but they might be a place to start.  Best wishes to you in your search!

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