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What is design for wellbeing?

What does design for wellbeing actually mean?

Design for wellbeing focuses on creating spaces and environments that promote a sense of comfort by providing true comfort that enables individuals to choose their own wellbeing. It is an approach to design which recognises that true wellbeing cannot be given to someone, but rather, it is a personal choice made by each occupant of an interior space.

When we design for wellbeing, we aim to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also healthy and comfortable. These spaces are intentionally designed to support physical, mental, and emotional comfort. Ultimately, the goal of designing for wellbeing is to provide individuals with the opportunity to make choices that support their own sense of wellness. By creating spaces that prioritise comfort and health, we can empower people to actively choose wellbeing in their everyday lives.

How can we design for wellbeing?

Developing an understanding of who the design is catering for is half of the equation towards achieving a design that supports wellbeing.

Designing a comfortable and healthy space is all about understanding the needs and preferences of the users. This is where user profiles come into play. User profiles are created based on the specific tasks and activities that individuals engage in within a particular space.

User profiles will direct the way a project is briefed at the start and how a design is informed during development, placing the user and the space’s operation at the centre.

Design Characteristics and Issues

The perception of beauty, and thus, wellbeing, can be found in the detailed design characteristics and interior design components present within the environments we design.

By incorporating elements such as natural light, appropriate ventilation, ergonomic furniture, and harmonious colours, we can create environments that have a positive impact on people’s overall health, comfort and happiness. Designing for wellbeing goes beyond just the aesthetic aspects; it also considers factors like noise/stimulation, privacy/openess, and more or less access to nature.

When designing for wellbeing the following design issues and characteristics must be considered:

  • Elegance,
  • Balance,
  • Symmetry and Patterns,
  • Acoustics,
  • Colour,
  • Materials and Textures,
  • Shapes and Volumes,
  • Art and Symbolism,
  • Layout, Furniture and Space planning,
  • Views and Controllability.

Good design supports wellbeing and the real values for a wealthy life. We can do better in the way we use our built environment and how we live in interior spaces. They are tools for life so let’s make them work for us, for a good life worth living.

If you would like to learn more about Design for Wellbeing, and how to apply this to your design practice, join one of our courses below…

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