What is neuroarchitecture?

It is known that the composition of spaces can tremendously affect our state of mind, surely you have noticed it, you enter a room and you automatically feel more happiness or stress, depending on such everyday factors as light, colors or the type of furniture. Neuroarchitecture is a design science that values that everyday life, understanding how architecture can impact us, beyond its technical elements.

Next, we are going to explain what neuroarchitecture is and how this practice can improve the creativity and concentration of those who work in a place.

What is neuroarchitecture?

Neuroarchitecture can be defined as the construction of environments based on scientific evidence, where the design considers the effects of space on various aspects of people, whether emotional or behavioral.

This is a marriage between neuroscience with architecture that understands that the latter provides an experience for those who inhabit it. In this way, this practice aims to create spaces that promote memory, provide stimulation to the mind and manage to promote the development of human cognitive abilities.

History of Neuroarchitecture

Jonathan Salk, the American doctor who created the polio vaccine, was one of the first to observe how spaces impact emotionality, from his own personal experience. In the 1950s, after spending a long period working in his basement laboratory, he decided to take a vacation in Italy, where he realized that every time he visited the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, he felt more creative and inspired.

This experience led him to build a research center in 1965, by the hand of the architect Louis Kahn, where they combined functionality with large laboratory spaces, simple and durable materials, green areas and a privileged view of the Pacific Ocean. The Salk Institute was one of the first examples of neuroarchitecture in the world and, thanks to its design, it is considered a place that invites collaboration between various disciplines, giving rise to the inspiration that outer space provides and the creative productivity of the inside.


Everyday applications of neuroarchitecture

Although this discipline takes into consideration quite complex aspects of human behavior, its application is simple, since it is based on taking the elements that surround us every day and configuring them based on our physical, emotional and mental well-being.

Some examples of neuroarchitecture applied in everyday life include:

1. Daylight

Unlike artificial light, natural light promotes the concentration of the human brain and creates a more pleasant environment for people. For this reason, a space designed on the proposals of neuroarchitecture should always have ample access to this type of lighting.

2. Cold tones

Color is one of the main variables that can affect cognition in humans. Moreover, neuroarchitecture studies where subjects are exposed to spaces painted in various shades have shown that cold tones improve attention and memory performance, compared to warm tones.

3. High ceilings vs. low

The height of the ceilings can also be impressive depending on the type of activity that people do, since low ceilings have been shown to encourage routine work, while high ceilings invite more creative tasks.

4. Green areas

As Jonathan Salk proposed in the construction of his research institute, green areas, or simply having access to plants, can help a lot in reducing people’s stress and allow them to open their minds, which is essential when doing any kind of challenging job.

5. Ergonomics

A place that is considered “ergonomic” is one that prioritizes the comfort and health of those who inhabit it, this is especially important when it comes to work areas, because objects such as chairs or desks can affect the well-being of people and they should always be selected with ergonomics in mind.

6. Curved lines

Neuroarchitecture has also determined that angles and shapes affect the disposition of people. Because squares and right angles tend to cause more stress or anxiety, it is recommended that curved lines and soft contours be preferred for both furniture and decorations, if you want to inspire comfort and create an optimal space for creativity.

Building better work spaces, which help to reduce stress and increase the productivity of employees, is key to the development of creative skills that make businesses grow, especially in today’s competitive market.

If you have an office or another type of collaborative area, do not hesitate to consider the aspects that may be affected by neuroarchitecture, in order to offer a healthier work experience and give space to the design of better solutions.