Neuroaesthetics is an area of study that looks at the impact design, art and our spaces have on our well-being, our limbic systems (emotions) as well as the prefrontal cortex (the way we think). We look at how our homes can build a sensory experience for maximum well-being.
Today health is wealth, we invest heavily (up to 5% of our income on gym and well-being) and the best modern homes are the ones designed to touch each of our senses.
It has long been known in architecture that happy homes include the core elements of natural sunlight, a considered use of space and materials that weave the natural environment into our home. A blank canvas stimulates creativity and allows us to overlay our own curation of life into our space.
The founders of The Modern House, Matt Gibberd and Albert Hill in their ‘Manifesto for Modern Living’ column House & GardenMagazine say:
“Given that our living environment is the very bedrock of our existence, it makes sense that we should apply the same level of careful consideration to how it makes us feel. For it to be successful, a modern home must surely make us healthier, happier and more fulfilled. It should be a container for our dreams.”
Beyond the physiological need for shelter, us humans look for connection with the world around us, the people around us and comfort and beauty. A sensory connection as well as the functional need.
At the 2019 Salon del Mobile in Milan, Google and the Arts & Mind Lab at John Hopkins University explored the impact of sensory impact - what we see, hear, smell and touch. They designed three different rooms in partnership with Muuto.
The results were surprising - participants were surprised by the room they felt calmest in, showing that we really need to ignite our senses and lean in to whatfeels good, and not just what our cognitive minds tell us.
As well as light, space, materials, what if we intuitively considered the furniture and lighting we choose as an instinctive and sensory experience? We’ve created The Sensory Collection, a curated selection of pieces to trigger joy in each of our senses.
We’ve taken into account the importance of lighting. We all know that sunlight makes us feel happier and modern homes bring in as much light as possible because the impact on our circadian rhythms is significant. But as well as natural light, our bodies need the rest time, darkness and cosy corners to fill us up. So lighting should mimic how our bodies and brains react to the rise and fall of light.
The materials we choose stimulate our senses. If you’ve ever run your hand on the back of a Wishbone Chair, or been enveloped in the soft bouclé fabric of an &Tradition Little Petra chair, or pulled a Vitra Eames Wool Blanket around you, you will know what we mean.