Let’s begin our mind game with a topic that’s indeed very subjective. When the mind needs a vacation, what does it think? 

While our child’s mind thinks about theme parks and zoo places, the teen, twenty, or thirties mind would say beaches or mountains, camping or cruising or a staycation, and actively retiring minds would think about pilgrimage trips or world tours after all. To look at why there are so many options makes it quite clear that our needs are diverse, and our choices largely depend on the Positive impact that we would be left with. The whole idea of going on vacation gets satisfied only when we feel or experience something new, and elements that make up our environmental setting – people, places, buildings, and more influence this feeling. If nature can rejuvenate and relieve the human mind, so does a built environment. 

Built Spaces and the mind games they play - Sheet1

Constantly moving in and out of built spaces is part of our daily lives. Sometimes we even spend around 95% of our time indoors and vice versa. We, humans, are emotional beings, and the built environment that surrounds us can have an effect on our moods, drive us to behave or act a certain way and sometimes even trick us into feeling delightful, thereby extending the user activity. Spaces that are bright and ventilated can make us feel energetic and welcomed, while dark and suffocating spaces can make us feel gloomy and insecure. Large open spaces give the mind the freedom of movement, whereas cramped and cluttered spaces promote a feeling of claustrophobia. Every space sends a certain emotional signal. When a design triggers a positive emotional reaction, the user feels comfortable spending more time in the space, increasing their activity. However, negative emotional triggers lead to less activity, less time spent, discomfort, and the need to leave a space sooner. 

Neuro architecture

Designing spaces is subjective, and an architect’s responsibility is to create a design environment that the occupants can emote to. Nonarchitecture comes into light when architects design built environments based not only on technical parameters of legislation, ergonomics, and environmental comfort but based on the emotion, happiness, and well-being of the user. The designer does not directly define the path to feeling this connection with the user, but makes it happen through his design elements and choices. 

“Architecture is an art when one consciously or unconsciously creates aesthetic emotion in the atmosphere and when this environment produces well-being.” — Luis Ramiro Barragán Morfín, Mexican architect.

Neuro architecture is based on instruments of neurobiology such as electrocardiograms, sweat sensors, and electroencephalograms to objectively measure body reaction to certain architectural stimuli to take the emotions produced by architecture into consideration in the design process. However, today’s architectural practice neither has the needed technology and equipment to implement it in practice, nor has the time for it. The Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture in San Diego or the Neuroarchitecture Research Group LENI at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (The Polytechnic University of Valencia) is developing studies that are based on scientific methodology.

Neuro architecture was first practised when A LENI study was implemented to enhance the design of pediatric waiting rooms. A group of people was surveyed about the elements of the waiting rooms to collect data about how relaxed they felt in the rooms. In this process, virtual simulation – a tool of nonarchitecture was used. It allowed the user to experience an unconstructed space to study the influence of the space on their behaviour. 

Human Behaviour and architecture

Architectural designing is user-centric. With neuro architecture being a budding technology in architectural practice, we are still a long way from designing buildings guided by the users’ brains. However, research has come up with patterns of common behaviour noticed when users are faced with certain design stimuli that architects could take into consideration to create healthier spaces.

Temperature: The human brain is sensitive to sudden changes in temperature, resulting in a slowdown in cognitive performance. This leads to hostility on an emotional level, and hence, it is vital to maintain a well-balanced temperature. 

Understanding Optics: Insufficient lighting affects circadian rhythms, mood, and activity, while intense white light activates the brain, and warm light reduces stress.

Built Spaces and the mind games they play - Sheet2
Bright Interiors_©Granit

Landscape: Green surroundings and natural materials have a beneficial effect on our health. 

Built Spaces and the mind games they play - Sheet3
Interior Lanscaping_©RIOS

Colours: Colour psychology is a huge topic that is worth exploring. Colours impact a certain area of the brain, influencing our productivity and concentration, making it ideal for work environments. 

Scents: The right scent can enhance a space. Natural scents promote relaxation. 

Curves: The presence and use of curves help us relax more than using sharp edges. 

Curved Interiors_©Press

As architects, we should look forward to using neuro architecture to help us design buildings and cities that contribute to their inhabitants’ health and social relationships. Designing buildings would then become as easy as custom stitching a shirt to suit an individual’s needs, and all of them would find our perfect fits. 


Utsav Gupta. (2020). Design for experience: Neuroscience architecture Is Crucial To Your Business. Available at: design-for-experience-neuroscience-architecture-9fd356dc0832 [Accessed:  6th Feb,2023]

Connections. Neuroarchitecture: intelligently designed buildings. Available at: Neuroarchitecture [Accessed:  6th Feb,2023]

Epiprodux. Neuroarchitecture. [Photograph]

Granit. Bright Interiors.[Photograph]

RIOS. Interior Landscaping. [Photograph]

Press. Curved Interiors. [Photograph]


An architectural graduate with a vision to create artful and functional environments. She has a strong inclination towards exploring and interpreting the aesthetics of people, places, and buildings. With a writing niche, she believes in the power of words to emote.