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Design Psychology Essay

990 words - 4 pages


Designing Psychologists

Designing Psychologists
This article about design psychology really interested me especially since I am fascinated with interior design and I am currently working towards getting my degree in this field. I especially wanted to do an essay on this subject because I realize that it would help me understand the needs of my future clients better if understood the connection between psychology and interior design.
Design psychology is the practice of architecture, planning, and interior design in which psychology is the principal design tool. In an American Psychological Association ...view middle of the document...

” In order to survive, our early ancestors needed both a “refuge,” and a safe place to eat and sleep. This preference for refuge and prospect continues in the modern world. Susan sees the area between the refuge and prospect, as prime social space, and people tend to gather at sidewalk cafes, porches and steps (Winerman, 2004). Considerations like these are taken into account as campuses and other public places are designed. “We need to think about creating more edges and boundaries,” Susan explains, “because there is a sense of security and comfort in having exterior spaces closed” (Winerman, 2004). On smaller scale projects like homes and professional offices, design psychology includes an understanding of both physiological and psychological needs of design elements. Knowledge of physiological effects of color can be applied to designing a space to uplift, calm or energize. Our physiological reaction to aspects of design leads to our psychological response. A trickling waterfall not only looks pretty but it relaxes those nearby, and certain textures can make you feel irritable, while others give us comfort (Fisher, 2004).
Childhood experiences of relationships have a shaping effect on development, and early experiences of physical spaces can leave a strong imprint too. UCLA psychologist Allen Schore, PhD, calls this imprinting “experience-dependent maturation” (Winerman, 2004). “The visual-spatial system is located in the right limbic brain, the same part of the brain that deals with emotional response and relationship,” Constance says. Neurons firing in proximity to one another bind experiences together, so a person’s cognitive experiences, the emotions accompanying them and the settings in which they take place are encoded together in memory. Buildings and rooms that recreate critical aspects of places where “high-positive” experiences occurred will trigger the sense of security, serenity or even joy that those memories bring to mind (Winerman, 2004). Constance evaluates her clients and has them describe all the places they have ever lived and the most influential things that happened in those...

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