Design Psychology Essay

950 words - 4 pages

Designing Psychologists PAGE 3
DESIGNING PSYCHOLOGISTSDesigning PsychologistsConnie HillSpokane Community CollegeDesigning PsychologistsThis article about design psychology really interested me especially since I am fascinated with interior design and I am currently working towards getting my degree in this field. I especially wanted to do an essay on this subject because I realize that it would help me understand the needs of my future clients better if understood the connection between psychology and interior design.Design psychology is the practice of architecture, planning, and interior design in which psychology is the principal design tool. In an American Psychological Association online article written by Lea Winerman, called "Designing Psychologists," Susan Painter, PhD, and Constance Forrest, PhD, co-owns their own design firm. In 1990, after becoming a psychology professor at Carlton University, Susan decided to pursue her interests in interior/environmental design at the University of California. Now Susan is an urban and campus planner where she can merge her psychology expertise into her interior/environmental design skills into a new field called design psychology. Susan and Constance also design smaller scale places like offices and private homes through their own firm, Forrest Painter Design, in Venice, California. According to Constance, who is a clinical psychologist, she says "I think the unique contribution that design psychology makes to design is that it recognizes the critical contribution emotion makes to people's response to a space" (Winerman, 2004). Together, Susan and Constance design large spaces like campuses and smaller spaces like offices and private homes with an emphasis on emotional responses and needs, encorporating past experiences into future design, and planning spaces based on the behavior of the people who will use it.A natural human response and emotional needs of the physical environment is linked to our evolutionary history, and is what Susan calls "the esthetics of survival." In order to survive, our early ancestors needed both a "refuge," and a safe place to eat and sleep. This preference for refuge and prospect continues in the modern world. Susan sees the area between the refuge and prospect, as prime social space, and people tend to gather at sidewalk cafes, porches and steps (Winerman, 2004). Considerations like these are taken into account as campuses and other public places are designed. "We need to think about creating more edges and boundaries," Susan explains, "because there is a sense of security and comfort in having exterior spaces closed" (Winerman, 2004). On smaller scale projects like homes and professional offices, design psychology includes an understanding of both physiological and psychological needs of design elements. Knowledge of physiological effects of color can be applied to designing a space to uplift, calm or energize. Our physiological reaction to aspects of design leads...

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