Architectural Psychology, Influencing Your Mindset

Not Your Typical Design Class

Millions of dollars are spent on buildings’ exteriors to convey positively appropriate messages with productive behavioral responses. Architectural psychology is a field taken quite seriously. Like first impressions and interviews, the first encounter is paramount. If the structure’s outside is unappealing, it is doubtful person will enter with an open and relaxed mind. Likewise, extra effort will be needed in the art of persuasion.

So, if the building’s outside is lacking in curb appeal, focus on the interior’s entry. Make it open, fresh, and relaxing. What better way to accomplish this than with an airy space, lush plants and flowing water? Although brief, my description was enough to incite somewhat of a sense of calmness. Yes? That’s a brief summary of the occupant-centered approach to architectural psychology. But let’s take it a step further and focus on influencing the people entering and working in these spaces.

We All Could Use Some Feng Shui

Although Feng Shui is not my forte’, especially since I am horrible with cardinal directions. I, like most people, can sense change, whether it be the weather or your emotions. So, why not do what professional sales people and those with psychopathic tendencies do? Observe, project, observe, adjust, repeat and perfect. Regardless of your profession, it takes two to tango or participate in a communicative relationship. Create a home, office, or work space environment conducive to your physical and emotional needs. Sometimes, something as simple as opening up floor space can give a sense of freedom or rotating furniture to take the “edge off” as your walk by. Temperature, sound, and visual changes can also open and free your mind and body of daily stressors.

Have you ever noticed how people sometimes rearrange chairs before sitting in them? Better yet, watch people eating a meal at a table and bench,  anchored to the floor! Either way, when you feel a bit uneasy, take note of your surroundings and or the context of your conversation. So, the next time you are feeling a little heated? Try walking and talking instead. Uneasy about an upcoming discussion? Don’t drive and discuss. Driving under the influence of unwanted topics is unhealthy in so many ways.

Ebb and Flow

We are chemical and electrical beings; confined to moving unilaterally or staying stationary is NOT in our nature, physically or mentally. We function like ebb and flow; our minds and bodies function as a result of stimulation and relaxation. Too much of one throws off our inter- and intra-personal communication. You know those days (Mondays!) when you are either in sync or just OFF.

Since our workplaces and homes are energy dependent, they stimulate and are stimulated by our minds and physical interactions. The sooner we take note of our productive surroundings and comfort zones. the easier it will be to create our ideal work and relaxation spaces. Remember, our bodies are wonderfully designed and miraculously made, yet easily influenced by architecture and our surroundings. Best to you all!

Dr. Doscher

Author: Michelle Doscher, PhD

I use verbal and nonverbal behavioral cues to investigate the psychology fueling sales, marketing, and interpersonal communication. My analyses answer the "why?" questions needed to close deals and augment inquiries.

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