The influence of beautiful design

As you probably already knew, Design is one of the most powerful forces in people’s lives. Every design evokes emotions, both negative and positive. But it goes even further; design has the power to influence human behavior and their moods.

Many design features are nudging people to a certain behavior. They intentionally restrict the user to behave in a certain way, or enforce certain modes of behavior.

The same intentions are evident in the design of environments. Natural environments and green spaces not only promote well-being and improve livelihood, but are also proven to create fewer violent and property crimes.

The park that helps to reduce crime

dezeen_stephen-burks-new-york-the-high-line_03On the West Side of Manhattan, an Art Deco piece of industrial design of an elevated, abandoned railway has been transformed into a public park.
Shortly after the second section of the park opened, the New York Times reported that the crime rate has been dropping in this area.

Elements of natural surveillance were deliberately placed to reduce crime, prevent graffiti, vandalism and littering. Functional and dynamic spaces were created to influence the way people approach the park and how they behave. 1419-High-Line-At-The-Rail-Yards-Photo-By-Iwan-Baan-e1412274591418

The designed setup of the park is a combination of passive and active design features and shapes the visitors behavior subconsciously.

The High Line Park is easily visible from the surrounding buildings, which adds a feeling of security. The creative placement of lighting enhances vision and keeps the park well lit. The paths and corners in the park also provide good visibility and reduce uncertainty. Plants and trees are constantly maintained, making the landscape elements look neat and taken care of.

All these design features prevent the park from becoming a target of criminal behavior.

The brain works differently if you’re happy

Thinking outside of the box with background space for text.

Psychological research has shown that well-designed everyday objects positively impact the way people feel. A good design doesn’t just make people happier, it also increases their level of creativity. According to Don Norman, who is well known known for his books on design, “the brain works differently if you’re happy. Things work better.”

This is why brilliant ideas often come to your mind when taking a shower, or difficult problems are often solved while taking a walk in the park.

The human brain places great importance on visual beauty. Everyday objects around us strongly influence how we feel, how we judge and how we behave. Beautifully designed things are associated with positivity: “The Halo Effect”. If an object looks aesthetically appealing, people believe that it will function well, too. Beauty simply has a calming effect on our feelings and emotions.


The office chair that increases happiness

high chairAnother example is introduced by the Delft Institute of Positive Design. Their mission is to deliberately design products and services that increase the well-being of individuals and communities.

Researchers and designers have created a special office chair that increases happiness and well-being within the office environment. Its design enables office workers to have a “pleasurable experience that permits a brief moment of physical and mental distance from the workplace, while at the same time still being at the office.”

The very unusual, pronounced height of the chair allows for privacy and a good overview of the surrounding.


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