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How to Approach Stimulation when Designing an Interior

When we are designing an interior, we consider the type of tasks that will be performed in that space, whether this is a home, a school, a hospital, or a workplace. For example, this could be creative thinking, communication, collaborating, concentrating, or resting. These different task types benefit from different levels of stimulation. In addition to this, we consider the individuals performing the tasks, as each person or team of people, will require different levels of stimulation. So, to understand what the existing levels of innate stimulation are and what levels are required for a group of people we are designing for, we create a User Profile. This helps us understand how stimulated they are usually, and how much they require to allow them to perform their task at the highest performance level, consistently.

Stimulation can be increased or decreased through several aspects, including colour tone, colour contrast, texture type, texture contrast, pattern shape, pattern size, just to name a few.

Some colour tones will be more stimulating than others, reds and oranges are arousing colours due to their wavelength, which will create more physical stimulation, whilst blues and greens create less. High contrast between colours tones and colour brightness will create more stimulation, whilst using similar tones of colour, or colours that are all in the same colour type will create less.

Combining textures within a space that are high in contrast, such as polished vs matt, or bumpy vs flat, will create more visual and sensory stimulation. The individual textures themselves can create stimulation depending on where they are used within a space. For example, using a texture in a location that someone does not expect can create mental stimulation.

The use of patterns within a space can create stimulation. Patterns that are more angular and fragmented can cause the occupant to feel more on edge and alert, increasing their arousal and level of stimulation. Whereas patterns that are more curved and softer reduce the level of stimulation/arousal and support relaxation.

As you can tell, designing with stimulation in mind is a complex task, but an important one if we are to ensure that we successfully design a space to support the wellbeing, productivity, and flourishing of the occupants.

To find out more about how we do this and how it can benefit your people and spaces, please reach out for a conversation. It is one of our favourite subjects so we love an occasion to share it!




Why are user profiles important within interior design?

Understanding the impacts on occupants' wellbeing is important and part of the clarity sought on

What is design for wellbeing?

What does design for wellbeing actually mean? Design for wellbeing focuses on creating spaces


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