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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He is the Mental Wellbeing Ambassador at the practice, and is an accredited mindfulness practitioner with the Mindfulness Association. Ultimately, to better serve the public’s mental wellbeing, architects need to think about themselves first. Ben is a passionate author and has used writing to champion better design for wellbeing, as well as to improve mental health within the architectural industry itself. If we started investing in happier buildings right now, the rewards would continue far into the future.

This process continued and after a while, I realised that this subject had far wider implications than I’d previously imagined, with the potential to improve the day-to-day lives of people around the world, so, the process of writing Happy by Design began. Ben has also received a number of awards in recognition of his work championing mental health and architecture for wellbeing. And as we spend between 80 and 90 percent of our time inside buildings, the spaces we live and work in are going to have a significant impact on our physical and mental wellbeing. If this is not possible, consider larger windows with opaque glazing, which can even be post-applied to existing windows in the form of a film.They can also be used to great effect to pick out key parts of a space or to create a powerful sense of drama, as shown in Vector Architects’ Seashore Chapel, opposite.

He coaches mindfulness at the practice and in his free time, and in 2017 founded the Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum, which is focused on improving mental health within the industry. The tips and tricks outlined in the book are all accompanied by my own personal sketches and hand-drawn diagrams, which bring life to the ideas. He discusses the recent reduction in facilities like sports centres, football pitches, swimming pools and tennis courts, and the negative effect this can have on the overall wellbeing of a community.With everything that’s happened in the last two years, now more than ever it is vital that we all understand the ways in which buildings and cities affect how we feel. Presented through a series of easy-to-understand design tips and accompanied by beautiful diagrams and illustrations, Happy by Design is a fantastic resource for architects, designers and students, or for anybody who would like to better understand the relationship between buildings and happiness. First and foremost, I’m an associate and mental wellbeing ambassador at Assael Architecture, where I’ve worked for six years.

They’d started requesting dual aspect apartments and things like generous cycle storage, rather than reluctantly providing them, as they had previously, for example. In his quest to explain what makes us happy, Dolan touches on a powerful idea: happiness need not be pursued, simply rediscovered. A soft fabric will also pleasingly catch the breeze if the window is open—a good way to bring life and movement to a gloomy space.It increasingly feels like our homes should do more than simply provide shelter, safety, and a place to eat, sleep and co-habit. The film has tiny silver particles embedded in it, which lend a dazzling luminosity to the light as it filters through. 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. For such a little amount of money, this window treatment has absolutely transformed the small space, so it’s a great option if you are short on time or funds.

Each chapter of ‘Happy by Design’, out on RIBA Publishing, covers a specific area of design and interior design that needs to be considered, such as light, nature and materials. He is a Director at design-for-wellbeing consultancy Ekkist, a WELL Accredited Professional and co-founder of the Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum, which is focused on improving mental health within the industry.Drawing on advice from experts far and wide, Victoria Harrison’s Happy Home Program helps everyone transform their living spaces and put personal wellbeing first in their homes and neighborhoods.



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