How can home design become an “alternative health resource … –

Andrea Lillo////August 8, 2023
How can home design become an “alternative health resource?” IDS session details how beauty affects the brain

Andrea Lillo////August 8, 2023
When it comes to home design, beauty is more than skin deep. Research has shown that our environment impacts our health and wellbeing, and the founder of Science in Design backed up those claims with scientific findings during the Interior Design Society’s recent conference in New York.  
“The future of medicine is in the home,” said presenter Mike Peterson, the co-founder of Science in Design and the president of Visionary Design Marketing. “Nature and design improve health. It’s encoded in our DNA.” 
Health facilities have incorporated biophilic design into their buildings to promote healing, as have corporations such as Microsoft and Etsy. There’s a human need for nature, he said – “and we have to get back to it … we’ve surrounded ourselves with an unnatural world.” 
RELATED: Science and design come together in October symposium
The medical industry around the world is using biophilic design to improve the health of their patients, and designers should be doing the same for their clients, Peterson said. He cited one study showing that 30 minutes of exposure to nature can reduce heart rate by 5 beats per minute. Another one showed that people who spent time in a forest experienced a 12.4% decrease in cortisone levels and a 5% decrease in heart rate, he said.  
Our innate love of nature creates a fundamental opportunity for designers. “The world needs you,” Peterson said. He touched on design elements that catch people’s attention, including fractals (a pattern that repeats at different scales and which are “the fingerprints of nature”), edges, faces, color intensity and color contrast.  
New technology is also able to pinpoint what draws human attention. One study used Google wristbands to measure cardio functions and biometrics to see which of three sensorial experiences people liked most. “Imagine putting a wristband on one of your clients and showing them fifty different displays of images,” Peterson said. “You have a road map to what they really like.” 
Designers will be able to experience new technology at High Point Market. Science in Design will have a space in the Hooker Furniture showroom designed by Denver-based Trio Design that will fully incorporate neuroaesthetic principles, with technology such as eye sensors, to pinpoint the emotion people are experiencing in the room. 
Science in Design will also launch its certification program, which will have approximately 24 different classes in five modules (on neuroaesthetics, biophilia, color, light and air, technologies, and how to implement these concepts into one’s business), at the market. 
This is in addition to the inaugural Science in Design symposium (Oct. 12-14) at High Point Market, a three-day event that will offer education, networking, product discovery, experiential exhibits and more. IDS members can get a 20% discount if they register before the end of August.  
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