An evaluation of feng shui methods which might be suitable with immediately’s emphasis on offering areas that promote well being and nicely being within the office.
Picture courtesy of Marquette College
At Work Design Journal we’re all the time up for locating out new methods to strategy office design. At a quick meet up after this yr’s NeoCon with Dr. Sally Augustin, we talked about working up a narrative that was a bit totally different and that posed alternate methods of evaluating the efficacy of design options for at this time’s workplaces. One of the issues we requested Sally was how scientific purposes may be utilized to maybe analyze the softer aspect of the impact setting has on individuals – how area makes us really feel along with the measurable physiological results that may be documented in additional scientific research. She wrote an article for us about this matter again in September. Sally additionally proposed a joint evaluation of some office designs together with her good friend and, a colleague who’s a feng shui grasp, Maureen Calamia. Sally talked about that she and Maureen often worth the identical attributes in designed areas. We have been intrigued by the prospect, and after soliciting some pictures to make use of as examples from some of our favourite design companies, we’re comfortable to current the findings.
Picture by way of Pinterest
Sally’s background is in neuroscience and Maureen is a feng shui practitioner and scholar of biophilic design; the alignment of their evaluation is what we discover most enjoyable and an awesome instance of the place the intersection of artwork and science might be extraordinarily informative. Environmental psychology rigorously and scientifically explores the influence of the constructed setting on one’s bodily and psychological well being. It focuses on how issues in our bodily world affect how we expect and behave. Feng shui originated in China and is a perception system in which there’s a religious relationship between the bodily parts of nature and human-made environments to create the correct stability of power for concord in a single’s area. Biophilic design, a contemporary design motion, acknowledges these foundations of feng shui and our connection to nature in our constructed environments and lots of biophilic designers additionally apply associated analysis completed by environmental psychologists. The confluence of these methods is completely suitable with at this time’s emphasis on offering areas that promote well being and nicely being within the office. In that, an image is value a thousand phrases. We chosen a number of pictures and requested Sally and Maureen to guage them regarding their background and experience.
Picture courtesy of Fox Architects
From a feng shui perspective, our first picture shows the important 5 parts of feng shui which join us to the pure world – wooden, hearth, earth, metallic, and water.
Earth is represented by the horizontal aircraft of the massive communal desk and the inclusion of ornamental pottery (earth-based materials) within the shelving on the again of this photograph. Hearth is represented by the variability of lighting fixtures and pure mild from the home windows. Wooden is represented utilizing the fabric within the communal desk and chairs. Metallic is represented utilizing the colour white and metallic finishes on the chairs, lights, and different objects: water by way of the glass prime on the desk and blue on the bench seating. Additionally, the wall overlaying over the bench evokes the picture of mild rain.
Area is flooded with pure mild, but the sunshine is subtle with the material. The open weave material reduces glare (a stress inducer), thus making a extra harmonious setting. Each science and feng shui agree that pure mild is significant for human well-being.
Maureen and Sally additionally agree that the truth that area gives a spread of environments offering prospect (a view of the neighboring space and the individuals in it) and refuge (sense of safety) for instance by way of the excessive again chairs enhances temper and wellbeing. In feng shui phrases, that is referred to as command or energy place and is important for feeling safe within the room. There’s a proper stability of visible complexity with the selection of supplies and patterns (clean and textured); science signifies that average visible complexity helps us maintain our stress ranges in verify, for instance. Based on feng shui, these design parts present a stability of yin and yang that contribute to a way of concord. Per Sally, the combination of gadgets on this picture provides a relaxing surroundings and are put collectively in a approach that isn’t overwhelming – thus placing them in the suitable psychological area for work.
Picture courtesy of Huntsman Architects
Our second picture additionally makes use of design methods to offer an incredible work setting. First, the variability of areas present occupants a way of management by having a selection of locations to work. This format with nooks off the primary space plus a variety of furnishings presents an area for prospect and refuge (aka command place). The man within the yellow chair has a superb view of individuals coming and going, but the excessive again offers a way of enclosure within the open area. Subconsciously we search for a place that gives probably the most sense of consolation and security. For instance, science exhibits that in a gathering the chief will almost definitely take the place with a view of the door – which provides a way of management by with the ability to see who could also be approaching or getting into the area. Based on each disciplines, our brains are wired, on the most elementary degree, to take care of a way of management and safety, which these design parts present.
Different elements contributing to the effectiveness of this design embrace the use of stay crops as a design aspect. Based on feng shui, crops and the abundance of pure mild give a way of vitality to area, and psychologically they set off a constructive response, as inexperienced can contribute to emphasize discount and improve creativity – which is superb for skilled efficiency. Science signifies that inexperienced leafy crops assist us minimize stress and thereby focus on the duty at hand and in addition help cognitive refreshment and artistic considering. The pots are a pure materials, and the pure mild is nice for temper. When individuals are in a greater temper, they get together with others and excel at their jobs.
The curves of the lighting and furnishings introduce softness to often-angular areas and help optimum sensory stimulation. Science has proven that we hyperlink curvy shapes with consolation and extra angular ones with effectivity; areas that function curvy design parts appear extra snug to us. In feng shui phrases, that is referred to as the distinction of yin and yang, that are complementary opposites. Simply as within the earlier picture, yin and yang characterize smooth and exhausting surfaces, clean and textured materials, subdued and brilliant colours, that are proven in the proper stability on this area as properly. White open areas are yang, whereas wooden materials, enclosures, and crops are yin. The angularity of the room is contrasted utilizing the roundtables and rounded design particulars on the furnishings. All create a way of stability thus a cushty surroundings by which to work.
A view to the surface and nature supplies constructive emotions and are methods to convey the yin into the yang of most workplace areas in feng shui and help the crucial course of of cognitive refreshment, which is well-researched by scientists.
Each Sally and Maureen felt that the dividers have been a massively profitable design factor. Not solely did the wooden deliver the pure aspect into play, however the dividers additionally create a extra human-friendly proportion to area. Analysis has proven that seeing the wooden grain can de-stress us. The woven screens give teams a way of having their very own area, which is a efficiency plus. As you comply with the commentary on all our photographs, the sense of enclosure might be one of probably the most essential options wanted to help the extra open workspace. Individuals are territorial, and a division of area provides the chance for individuals to select and select well-defined area inside the bigger surroundings giving that sense of safety and safety wanted for a relaxed thoughts.
Picture courtesy of H. Hendy Associates
Our third instance illustrates one other key development in as we speak’s workspace. Multi-use areas for work and collaboration have proliferated over the previous few years. The break room is not a darkish little area, and individuals are not relegated to at least one desk or place within the course of the workday. This area can handle a number of individuals and actions concurrently, and the design helps them by providing selection in seating, postures, supplies, and lighting. Feng shui-wise this area incorporates a stability of yin and yang which additionally aligns with constructive cognitive reactions when there are a stability and compatibility of design parts inside an area. Excessive factors of this area, science-wise, are the views of nature, the stream of pure mild, use of pure supplies, and selection of use choices.
The image for Yin and Yang – outlined as (in Chinese language philosophy and faith) two rules, one damaging, darkish, and female (yin), and one constructive, vibrant, and masculine (yang), whose interplay influences the destinies of creatures and issues.
On this area, the important thing parts supporting the yin/yang principle embrace:
- Coordinating the inside with the outside. This workspace is instantly adjoining to an outside patio. This can be a novelty within the workplace surroundings, however on this case, the Southern California location offers the chance to show occupants to and create a connection to pure mild and views to the land and climate patterns.
- The softness of nature versus the hardness of constructed surroundings. Nature views give a way of depth, imaginative and prescient and create a way of place.
- The selection of supplies categorical the yin/yang by use of onerous and tender supplies (e., wooden and metallic), a spread of lighting sources (pure and synthetic), shapes (curved and angular).
- Relying on how area is accessed, from the primary entrance there’s a command place (prospect) the place the lady is seated. Her again is supported and guarded by the divider and bench seating.
- This picture additionally demonstrates the use of all 5 parts:
- Wooden (supplies and nature views)
- Hearth (pure and synthetic lighting)
- Earth (terracotta colours within the seating supplies and outside shade construction)
- Metallic (materials and white/grey colour choices)
- Water (blue colours and asymmetrical patterns within the space rug)
Picture courtesy of Fox Architects
Our final picture expands our view to a bigger multi-level space inside a office. Our specialists beloved the best way these design parts created a way of place with the delicate yellow gold wall graphic– connecting to the native geography and panorama: the desert. Connecting individuals to the land is a basis of feng shui and is echoed in biophilic design. It reminds those that they don’t seem to be simply in a generic workplace constructing. Linking individuals to the surface world provides psychological consolation and restocks psychological power. There’s energy in utilizing artwork and images to offer photographs of nature.
Constructive features of this area, based mostly on environmental psychology, are the presence of pure mild and the alternatives for prospect and refuge within the high-backed seating areas on the decrease degree. The spherical aqua rug clearly defines the gathering space on the prime of the steps and use of totally different flooring supplies delineates totally different work areas. Having use choices provides individuals some management over their experiences, which is superb from the attitude of psychological consolation. The design offers individuals with a chance to stroll and strolling has been proven to spice up our reminiscence perform and skill to assume creatively, even after we cease shifting. Including some curved strains within the furnishings additionally ups our consolation ranges on this area. Bookshelves are a useful resource – this can be a significant approach to offer and acknowledge instruments individuals want, and whenever you provide them, this will have a big constructive impact on efficiency as a result of it exhibits respect for workers and their work. Nonverbal messages that convey that staff are valued, and their contributions to a corporation revered, are elementary to efficient office design.
Different parts enhancing the viability of this area regarding feng shui and accompanying constructive emotional response embrace:
- Prospect and refuge (aka command place) within the use of the banquets on the decrease degree (sense of enclosure) in addition to the clear view offered by the glass railing from higher degree to decrease.
- The abundance of pure mild that floods the two-story space
- Used of curved (furnishings design parts) and rectangular design parts (architectural function – stairs)
- Wooden-grain carpeting helps to offer extra yin (illustration of pure materials and softens sound) into this area.
How does area make us really feel? We had enjoyable doing our evaluation and evaluating notes on how totally different disciplines look at this matter. Not surprisingly, this historic follow of arranging our areas has a lot grounding in our psychological response to area.
Our objective was to offer meals for thought for these within the course of of working with shoppers to seek out the optimum work setting to satisfy their corporations’ particular wants. We’re discovering out that one measurement doesn’t match all, and that the generic workplace designs of the previous – cubicle farms, designated enclosed and assigned workplaces, static assembly rooms, pantries just for getting a espresso and storing your lunch in a communal fridge usually are not the best way of the longer term.
If you need to study extra about feng shui or Dr. Augustin’s analysis listed here are some instructed assets:
Maureen Calamia’s web site
Books by Maureen Okay. Calamia:
Sally Augustin’s web site
Dr. Augustin edits Analysis Design Connections.