Architecture has the power to influence how we think, feel, and behave, and it is increasingly being recognised as an important factor in promoting psychological health and well-being.

When we walk into a building, we subconsciously form an immediate impression based on the architecture and design.

This impression can shape our emotions and determine our level of comfort, security, and inspiration.

In recent years, architects and designers have been experimenting with new ways to create spaces that promote mental health and well-being.


Designing for Mental Health and Well-Beinga


The Maggie's Centre in Dundee, Scotland, is one example of a design for mental health and well-being. The centre, which provides support for people with cancer, was designed by Frank Gehry and features a large, open space with floor-to-ceiling windows that let in natural light and provide views of the surrounding greenery. The space is meant to make people feel calm and peaceful, both patients and their families. The facility also has a kitchen where visitors can prepare and share meals, as well as private counselling rooms for one-on-one support.


Another great example is the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. The institute was designed by Louis Kahn and includes a courtyard with a reflecting pool that provides a peaceful atmosphere. The design is intended to foster creativity and inspiration among researchers. In addition, the institute features a library that overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offers a blissful and inspiring environment for research and study.


Elements of Design for Mental Health and Well-being


Architects and designers are looking into how to use biophilic design in addition to using natural light, green spaces, and sensory experiences in their designs. This design strategy incorporates natural elements such as plants and water into the built environment, which has an outstanding positive effect on our mental and physical health. Biophilic design can help to reduce stress and anxiety, promote creativity, and improve cognitive function.


Colour is another aspect of design for personal wellbeing. Colour has a strong influence on our emotions and behaviour. Bright colours can promote energy and creativity, whereas muted colours tend to promote calm and tranquillity. Colour can also help to create a sense of identity and purpose in a space.


The Difficulties of Designing for our own Minds


Even though people are becoming more aware of how important it is to design for our own minds and well-being, there are still a lot of problems to solve. One of the most difficult challenges is creating spaces that are inclusive and accessible to everyone, regardless of their mental or physical abilities. Designers and architects must consider the needs of people with different abilities and create spaces that are welcoming and functional for everyone.


Another challenge is creating spaces that can be adapted to different uses and users. As our society becomes more diverse and people's needs and desires change, architects and designers must make spaces that can be used in different ways and by different people. This requires a deep understanding of how people interact with and use different spaces, as well as the ability to predict changing needs and trends and adapt to them.

The design of the built environment has a significant impact on our perceptions and experiences. By making spaces that are welcoming, relaxing, and inspiring, architects can help improve the mental health and well-being of everyone who uses them. Designing for the mind is about creating spaces that support our physical and mental well-being while promoting a sense of connection and health. As our understanding of mental health and well-being evolves, so will the design of our architecture. Architects and designers play an important role in shaping the spaces we inhabit as well as promoting mental health and well-being.