KBB - August 2009 - (Page 14)

Focus Popular Science Tap into the brain to design effectively I have been exploring ways, for some time now, to give our clients more emotional satisfaction in the planning and use of their kitchens. Simply designing cabinets is not enough and conversations about style often lead to superficial solutions. To provide real service to a client and their family is to make their home more functional, as well as measurably more pleasant, to live in. My research has led me to explore other disciplines and to apply their findings to home design. Fields like neuroscience, which studies how the brain and emotions work together, offer rich insight, as do social anthropology, biochemistry and cognitive psychology. Piecing it all together, however, is a complex task, as disagreement exists among the scientists within their respective fields and the material is diverse and abundant enough to excite anyone and to keep them reading for years to come. Where do the emotions start, the head or the body? Pert’s answer is both, suggesting that the body plays the role of the unconscious mind. Freud would have dined out on this for it implies that the body is where repressed emotions go. Clearly, we need to look after the body, and ergonomics may be more than just placing your countertop at the right height. However, it is the brain on which we really need to focus. Given our understanding of our fight or flight responses, the feeling of safety is one of the first design issues to get right. Cooking with your back to the room is literally like asking for a dose of the hormone cortisol, instead of opting for its opposite, the bonding hormone of oxytocin. A necessary companion to all of the above is understanding how the senses work. Conventional thought says we have five, with a sixth thrown in by the mystics (intuition). Now, there might be at least 20, suggests Sir Our “hard-wired” needs yield psychobiological information for transforming our clients’ environments. OUR HARD-WIRED NEEDS One noteworthy example is the book, Inquiry by Design, by renowned sociologist and design methodologist John Zeisel, which talks about our “hard-wired” needs. These include hearth, nature, sociability, safety, food and light. Some less obvious ones like art, music, smell and people’s faces yield psychobiological information for transforming our clients’ environments, assuming that we can translate them into three dimensions. Hard-wired needs guide us through the earlier stages of the design process and provide a checklist for a design that works. Ergonomics and cultural layers can then follow. The expanded role for neuroscience stems from the development of brain scans as well as behavioral psychology and biochemistry research. Hormones, as chemical messengers, allow us to measure our response to an environment and provide opportunities for us to measure the impact of our designs. But developing suitable techniques is an issue. Blood tests are invasive and only suitable for some hormones; sweat tests are easier. And brain scans mostly have to be carried out in special chambers where the recipient has to lie still. Once we have measuring devices designers can use, neuroscience will take off. In her book, Molecules of Emotion, Dr. Candice Pert describes neuropeptides, which trigger hormone manufacture and ultimately our behavior, as the link between mind and body. She asks pertinently: Ken Robinson’s book, The Element. Some of the newly recognized ones, like the kinetic sense—proprioception—which informs you where your limbs are in space, are particularly relevant to designers for assessing how people move. Thermoception, our sense of temperature, is important for comfort, as is equilibrioception for balance and acceleration through space. Who has studied or applied these? They are awaiting our use. DESIGN & VISION A lot of biological information about how the body works exists for us to apply, especially if we wish to be truly holistic designers. For example, consider how the eye works and, in particular, peripheral vision. In Eye and Brain, a book written over 30 years ago, author WL Gregory explains how sharp objects activate the flight mechanism. From neuroscience research, however, we know that everyday frontal vision does not (if it did, you would not have enough mental capacity to multitask while processing these visual thoughts). By making links to body ergonomics, I was able to develop the concept of soft geometry: the use of curves and soft shapes in interior spaces, which is of particular relevance for central islands, since they are essentially obstacles in the middle of a room. The absence of sharp corners and promotion of flow relax the body and can narrow the amount of corridor space needed in small kitchens, expanding the ratio of countertop to corridor dimensions. Continued on page 16 14 + K BB August 2009 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - August 2009

KBB - August 2009
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Focus
Trends
Products
Profile
Design
External Analysis
Southern Comfort
Tech
Additions
Education
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - August 2009

https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/mayjune_2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/marapr_2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/janfeb_2024_KBISDirectory
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/janfeb_2024
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/novdec_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/septoct_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/julyaugust_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/mayjune_2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/kitchen-bath-business-march-april-2023
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202301v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202301
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202211
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202209
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202207
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202205
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202203
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202201
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202201_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202111
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202110
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202109
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202107
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/kbb/202104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202102_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20200203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20191112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20190203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20180203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20170203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20161112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20160203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20151112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20150203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20141112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/20140506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/kbb/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20131112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20130506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20130102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20121112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20120506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20120102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20110506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20110102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20100102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20091112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_20090607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/kbb_200808
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com