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Architecture and mental health

  • by JW

… creating buildings and urban spaces which are good for our wellbeing.


It is clear that architecture shapes society – or as Churchill said, “We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us” – and as architect Thomas Heatherwick says, ‘Boring urban environments cause serious stress’.

One way to ‘shape us’ in a less stressful way might be to combine the two very modern concepts of Neurodiversity and Biophilia in architecture – to “connect people with nature to improve their well-being and quality of life. By seeking alternatives to integrate nature – either through natural elements or techniques – into its designs.”

And the latest ArchDaily looks at the further modern concept of Designing for Happiness: Exploring the Connection between Architecture and Mental Health – with the introduction reproduced here:

While not entirely dependent on one another, the relationship between architecture and mental well-being is an important topic, as designers and architects can contribute to creating a more enjoyable environment for everyone. From strategies to enhance mental health in shared workspaces to the ways in which architecture can contribute to preventing cognitive decline, understanding the potential impact of environmental neurosciences and the ways they apply to architecture is an essential skill for our profession.

In celebration of World Mental Health Day, we have gathered a selection of editorial articles that delve into the intriguing interplay between architecture and mental health and a set of projects that showcase in a practical manner the solutions created in response to these challenges. The selection aims to provide insights into how the spaces we inhabit can affect us, from workspaces and homes to the centers dedicated to health and recuperation. Additionally, matters of psychology are discussed in relation to various typologies and at different scales, while the curated projects serve as case-studies for further exploration.

Read on to discover a selection of editorial articles exploring the multifaceted connection between architecture and emotional well-being, along with a survey of architectural projects that translate this relationship into built spaces.

And articles include:

How Copenhagen is Designed for Delight

Carpe Diem Dementia Village / Nordic Office of Architecture

Architecture and Health: How Spaces Can Impact Our Emotional Well-Being

How Environmental Neuroscience is Shaping Architecture and Urban Planning

Architecture for Preventing Cognitive Decline: Contributions from Neuroscience to Healthy Aging