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Monday, 7 October 2013

Embracing Psychology In Our Designs


It's really interesting how oft time, Architecture tends to bring together contrasting Concepts-even from other fields- to form a singular concept. The topic that I'd like to discuss is one of such Brought-in concepts.
Like I always say: Design Is Everything; Meaning, every good work(not only Architecture) are Designs.
So by Definition, Design is the Creation of Objects and Places having Practical Functions which are intended to be looked at or used.


Psychology on the other hand, as defined by Simon Norris,
(a design consultancy that combines psychological insight with design) is “the science of behavior and the mind". When design and behaviour match, the design will be superior,” he explains.

So, from these two definitions, one can easy conclude that Psychology of Design has to do with the way design relates with Human Behaviors.


However, today’s use of psychology in design needs to go beyond those basic theories learnt at college, believes Andy Budd, founding partner and managing director at digital design consultancy Clearleft. Understanding of cognitive behaviour, for instance, can hugely affect a design, and tools such as Stephen P Anderson’s Get Mental Notes card deck can help designers apply psychology to the creative process.
“To be a good designer in today’s society, you need to have an understanding of psychology, human behaviour, and the little shortcuts, the little quirks, in the way people operate,” he says. “Then you can use them to make it easier for people to engage with your products.” 


From the Audi A3 Advert, the designer intentional placed the text using that particular Font style so as to force the Viewer to slowly read each words instead just glossing around it. This advertising concept tends to leave a more lasting impression concerning the product in the viewer's mind.
Great design requires great psychology, agrees Simon Norris; I am also in agreement to this fact in that we design mainly for Humans but before we design, we have to understand the way Humans will relate to that design. If we can get that understanding, it will make it easier for us to design what Humans will like.

Paul Davies, who was a psychologist before becoming a designer, runs psychology-led design consultancyBehaviour, also believes that an understanding of behaviour can make design more effective. “Psychology has a huge impact,” he argues. “Unlike artists, designers have to make something for effect; an artist can start a project without a brief, but a designer has to have a purpose and they have to do that for a particular audience.” 

Overtime, Psychology has played an important role in the design of Structures. For instance, a Credible Example will be James Lind's Article on Designing for Autism(Autism is a Psychiatry term that some individuals possess that involves the absorption with the self, an inability to treat people as people.)
In his article, he puts off the ideologies that the Royal College of Physicians and the British Academy thought was the cure to Scurvy and made them understand-after conducting his test- that Fresh Fruit was indeed the Cure.
More importantly, through his Article, we were made to understand that in our design, we are made to understand that design truest affects behavior, sensory regulation, and/or social integration.


Another instance will be in the Health Sector: 
Hospital walls are usually covered in colors such as white, green and blue. There is an explanation behind these choices and it has to do with the psychological effects these colors have.

White is the most common color to be seen on a hospital wall. And that is due to the peaceful and calm mood it provides. Other reason for choosing it is the fact that it denotes cleanness. It implies sterility, which has the effect of making patients feel reassured. This is also why doctors and nurses wear white uniforms.

Blue and green are considered to be the most relaxing and refreshing colors, promoting peaceful atmosphere which encourages concentration. Designers, psychologists and feng-shui experts, they all tend to consider that shades of blues and greens make us fell calmer, more balanced and less emotional. Because green has a calming effect on our nerves, hospital waiting rooms and even psychiatric wards are painted in this color. And surgeons wear green scrubs for the same reason. As for blue, it has often been noticed that children in pain are put in hospital rooms painted in light blue due to its healing effect it conveys.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/4526498

One of the common features in The Design of Churches, which is under Christian Architecture, is the use of High ceilings which creates this Feeling of Humility or Reverence before God. That's Psychology and Design in an Inter-play here.

Many More instances exist in the use Psychology in Design...so next time you want to design, think of how Human will relate to your design: if the Relationship is Positive, then you're on the right track.

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