Designing Happiness: Nature, Light, and Surprise

Sep 23, 2016

A literature review of neuroscience and social science studies focused on happiness provided the content to frame six environmental factors with design implications. Three have restorative qualities: nature, light, and surprise, and three have interactive qualities: access, identity, and sociality. For each factor, selected findings are highlighted, then interpreted into potential design strategies. Both restorative and interactive experiences appear to be invaluable to human happiness, although they might not always appear compatible. Finding ways to draw the two together and integrate each into an individual’s daily life is the design challenge this work is seeking to address. The focus here is on the restorative interventions into urban and architectural design.

Rebecca Habtour (University of Maryland, College Park)
Madlen Simon AIA (University of Maryland, College Park)
Presented at: 
2016 ANFA Conference (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture

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