Happy by Design: A Guide to Architecture and Mental Wellbeing

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Happy by Design: A Guide to Architecture and Mental Wellbeing

Happy by Design: A Guide to Architecture and Mental Wellbeing

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Danish lighting designer Poul Henningsen devoted much of his career to designing glare-free and uniform illumination, which has been shown to reduce headaches and improve productivity.

When designing buildings, it is therefore extremely important to consider how you can improve both the quantity and quality of daylight, internally and within landscaping.Ben’s second book ‘ The Happy Design Toolkit’ - which offers more practical advice on how to create buildings for our mental wellbeing - was published in March 2022.

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Spaces such as libraries or galleries are the exception, where direct sunlight can often damage books or displays. As a student, I loved books such as Gordon Cullen’s The Concise Townscape and Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein’s A Pattern Language, which combined beautiful passages on design with informative images and useful diagrams. As issues around physical and mental wellbeing become more prominent in the media and wider society, ‘Happy by Design’ offers design advice on creating ‘happier homes’ and has been written to appeal to and be of use to everyone – from architects and property developers to DIY homeowners and students to employers who want to make their workspace ‘happier’ for their staff. It poses – and answers – all of the key questions: If you were to design a building that puts occupants’ happiness first, what would it look like? We each have over 20 years experience (many of which spent working together), and we’ll be your biggest supporters – promoting your work and rooting for your success!

The lessons and advice inside are applicable to everyone, from big-time property developers to homeowners, interior designers and those interested in wellbeing and happiness. It reveals how architecture and design can make us happy and support mental health, and explains how poor design can have the opposite effect. Most purchases from business sellers are protected by the Consumer Contract Regulations 2013 which give you the right to cancel the purchase within 14 days after the day you receive the item. Whether it’s the design features, the choice of colours and interiors, or the locations we choose, it’s all about building homes that make life better. After my own battle with mental health issues when studying architecture, I was shocked by how little architects and designers considered the physical and mental wellbeing of the end-user.To avoid a climate catastrophe and achieve a regenerative built environment, the use of new materials and any excess waste in resources need to be cut out from the very beginning of the design process. They listened to exactly what I wanted, produced a great design and were happy to incorporate any revisions and additions I asked for.

A more conscious, mindful approach to the design of affordable housing could help those that need it most and those who often have the fewest resources to address the issues surrounding mental health.I often worry that architects and developers have become distracted by other issues – some more worthy than others – and have forgotten that when it comes down to it, they’re designing homes and buildings for people. For anyone interested in the power of human centric and people-focused design, this publication will be a highly anticipated and extremely timely guide.

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