Over time a series of theories have been developed, some more studied, others less, around different aspects related to interior design and interior decoration, such as color theories, those associated with feng shui or , among the most modern, theories of biophilic design and neuroarchitecture.
The theories, principles and various studies around interior design, decoration and interior design, have their origin in the human need to find guidance to recreate a habitable, safe and comfortable environment. Design is everywhere and affects our mood from the background; We do not directly notice the design when it is good, but we do notice the bad design, the non-existent design and the difficulties that this gives rise to.
And these theories and studies are not only limited to the field of housing, they are obviously also in the design of offices, shops, restaurants and all kinds of public buildings.
1. Theories of color
Many of our associations around colors are culturally based, but it is also true that some colors make us act differently.
The book ‘Psychology of color: How colors act on feelings and reason’ (2004. Author: Eva Heller), «addresses the relationship of colors with our feelings, demonstrates how both are not accidentally combined, since their Associations are not mere matters of taste, but universal experiences that are deeply rooted in our language and in our thinking. It provides a large amount and variety of information about colors, such as sayings and popular knowledge, their use in product design, different tests that are based on colors, healing through them, manipulation of people, names and surnames related to colors, etc. This diversity makes it a tool for all those people who work with colors »
There are numerous studies that have been carried out on color and its influence on mood; for example by measuring brain activity levels through electrodes placed on the scalp in people sitting in two rooms painted in different colors, concluding that those in the blue room had brain waves associated with relaxation, while those in the blue room they were in the red room they had more brain activity.
2. Neuro Architecture
The art and practice of feng shui, the Chinese art of designing to attract good luck and health, has existed for thousands of years.
In the modern era, many of the same principles have been adopted by the idea of ’neuroarchitecture’, a discipline inspired by the neuroplasticity of the brain. Neuroarchitecture is a discipline that is concerned with how the environment modifies brain chemistry and therefore emotions, thought and behavior.
Although neuroarchitecture seems like a new discipline, the truth is that it is already a few decades old and its main objective has not changed: to create spaces for happiness, well-being, productivity and quality of life.
3. The biophilic or biophilic design
Biophilic design is based on the fact that our species has evolved throughout most of its history in an adaptive response to the natural world (and not in response to ‘artificial’ human creations) and in the belief that this need continues and will continue to be an instrument for people’s well-being and their physical and mental health. Try to create spaces to help people carry out their tasks in a space that improves their well-being. For example, flowers and plants enhance performance and creativity in the workplace.
Anthropometry is the study of human dimensions in interior spaces, which vary due to age and diversity. Specifically human proportions, size and movements of the human body, which must necessarily adapt to the various components of interior space.
The book ‘Human dimensions in interior spaces’ (2007. Authors: Julius Panero, Martin Zelnik) is “a text of design standards, essential for all those who are linked to the study and development of interior projects, both students, architects and interior designers, such as designers, industrialists and builders ».
Another contemporary theory is that of biomimetics. An approach to innovation that seeks sustainable solutions to human challenges, emulating nature’s proven patterns and strategies. The goal is to create products, processes and new forms of life that are well adapted to life on earth in the long term.
6. The benefits of integrating curved shapes
Nature is not made of straight lines but of undulating shapes, the trees and their leaves, the waves of the sea, the mountains, the flowers and the animals were, for example, an important source of inspiration both in interior decoration and in the structures of the buildings designed by Gaudí, with organic shapes, curved lines that are constant references to the natural world and therefore timeless, that never go out of style.
Except if we have in mind, for example, a preconceived avant-garde design of straight lines, the truth is that people in general are attracted to rounded armchairs, rounded cushions, curved edges, and this preference for rounded surfaces over straight ones it may come from the innate human perspective of the environment, of the natural world.
Both Feng-shui and the biophilic design that I mention above, support this recommendation of incorporating curved or organic shapes in the design.
Do you support Mies Van Der Rohe’s theory and his famous motto “Less is more”, or do you have a tendency to fill the walls and every available free space on your work table with souvenirs, photos, souvenirs, etc.?
If scientific theories about children can be extrapolated to adults, if you practice maximalism you may be making your concentration difficult. For example, a clean, uncluttered workbench appears to help improve concentration on what is being done.
8. Proportion and patterns
The instinct to adopt patterns, in general, seems to exert a positive influence on the human brain. Almost every culture on earth has developed patterns of some kind as part of their cultural identity, often with mathematical rules about symmetry and shape.
The Golden Ratio (or Golden number, or Divine proportion, among other names), for example, is a curious mathematical relationship present in nature, a proportion that inhabits the ribs of the leaves, the thickness of the branches, the spiral of the shell of the Nautilus snail, in the seeds of sunflowers, in the horns of goats, even in the human body.
In ancient times, the first searches began to find this proportion. Euclid was the first to describe it as a harmonic geometric pattern between two segments of a line: “In a line cut in extreme and half reason, when the entire line is to the largest segment as the largest segment is to the smallest.” Since then, the gold number has generated the interest of painters, mathematicians and astronomers, from the Greeks to today. Dürer and Kepler, among others, reflected their harmonic properties in their paintings and astronomical laws.
People have the ability to find patterns in everything. We seem to like patterns so much for our ability to detect sequences and repeats in the data.
9. Accessible design
An accessible and unobstructed space is beneficial for all people in any circumstance, in addition to helping to avoid domestic accidents and that, due to our own condition as human beings, we are fragile and subject to change; all people are susceptible to suffering an illness or an accident that causes us a disability, temporary or permanent. And even those who have never experienced them, as they age, face health problems that often lead to some form of disability.
Accessible design, in addition to being fundamentally or absolutely necessary for the autonomy of people affected by some type of permanent or temporary disability (in which case the design must also include accessibility aids such as support bars, etc.), is positive and beneficial for all, always.
10. Corporate design
Mainly focused on companies and public businesses of all kinds, corporate design uses a multitude of design systems to reinforce the brand, concept and unity of a commercial entity in a space inhabited by people. Among other aspects, graphic design is what transmits the perception of the company through its corporate image and its products.