The Psychology of Space
I've been involved with design for quite some time now, and since I became an instructor, a teacher, a design professor, the theories behind it have become a daily topic on my table. I've been thinking about design and what's in and around it for a long time, and not just that. I've been testing its boundaries, dissecting it, expanding and contracting it in every shape or form: working with hundreds of students, their projects, their questions it's been like going to a gym where all you do is breaking down and building things up to see how they work.
In the meantime, I've been flirting, studying and understanding more and more about psychology which, by my own admission, is something I've deeply loved for its something I can't help seeing at the very center of the human experience. It was inevitable then to connect the dots: Design and Psychology are closely related. As a matter of fact, the very principles of design are mostly psychological patterns applied to things that are around us.
I can go as far as saying that you cannot ignore the central role of psychology in the design world, and missing it would be like missing a vital step of the design process. Psychology, in other words, is as important as choosing the materials, the colors, the layout in a design project. After all, design isn't just out there, it's in here too.
Enter Interior Design: the design of lived space.
It goes without saying that interior design is in the hot seat here, it is indeed the main reference when it comes to "design" that I want to point to. I made this illustration long time ago: it sums up all the words I can generate around the subject. Space is happening in our mind, as a matter of fact what we experience with our bodies is simultaneously happening in our minds. We can even experience a space by simply closing our eyes and "going there". It's like we have a 3D model of that space in our head, plus feelings, experiences, smells, which make it even more compelling.
Interior Design is a complex subject as it is, but in my experience adding one more layer - they psychological layer - improves rather than complicates things. It improves the final result of a designer's work, because isn't just aimed to please the eye, but also aimed to please the most complex aggregation of atoms known (so far) in this Universe.
Interior Design Psychology is a course designed to investigate this connection, this partnership, this ever-present layer. I designed this course to discuss several concepts and ideas - such as "the psychology of space" or "mental health" or "space perception" - and show students how they can integrate them in their work.
You can't really ignore the fact that walking into a room happens physically and mentally. You can't ignore the fact a color, a smell or the way the furniture is arranged can turn your mood in one direction or another.
The more you understand about the psychology of space, the more you see how interior design is about creating fully immersive experiences - every day, everywhere we go.