Workplace Design Principles

A starting point for an evidenced-based design process

Design for Restorative Environments January 22, 2009

Filed under: Color Use — ia2studio @ 7:04 am

Defining the Ultimate Restorative Environment

One definite way to cut down on mental stress is through certain features of the built environment. “Architects often give us “nature” in the form of water or trees to create restorative settings, while others favor complex and challenging sculpture or structures.”

One of the features used is called ecodiversity; which is the presence of flowers, water, and other elements of nature. Another is synesthetic tendency; a comminging of colors, smells and other sensory stimuli. The third is environmental familiarity, which includes spaciousness and privacy; while the fourth is cognitive challenge, the structural complexity and texture.

In any type of restorative environment, the use of cool colors is highly recommended. Cool colors are calming and soothing, while warm colors can often over-stimulate an individual.

Posted by: Marissa Janice

Resource: Hakon Heimer, Defining the Ultimate Restorative Environment. Environ Health Perspect. 2005 February; 113(2): A117. (


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