Workplace Design Principles

A starting point for an evidenced-based design process

Color for Restorative Environments January 22, 2009

Filed under: Color Use — ia2studio @ 10:33 pm
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Studies show that the colors blue and green prompt lower levels of anxiety and displeasure than red or yellow.  (Kopec).


Kopec, Dak. Environmental Psychology for Design. New York: Fairchild Publications, Inc., 2006.

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Maggie Zilke


Color for Restorative Environments: Color Use

Filed under: Color Use — ia2studio @ 6:34 pm
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When designing an environment for occupants with mental and physical disabilities, it is important to create feelings of healing and restoration.  One common and very versatile way to create a healing atmosphereis color.  Soft yellows create feelings of healing, blues are known to reduce blood pressure.  Doctors and physicians are often aware of what colors can help influence the healing of their patients.  The following book can be found online and has great information about color use in healthcare facilities.  I have also listed a second book which has information about basic color theory.

Piotrowski, Christine, and Elizabeth Rogers. Designing Commerical Interiors. 2. John Wiley and Sons, 2007. (244-245,

you may also want to check out: Pile, John.  Color in Interior Design.  McGraw-Hill Professional.

Posted By: Nicole Calhoun


Design for Restorative Environments

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. (


Color for Restorative Environments: Healing Color

Filed under: Color Use — ia2studio @ 3:42 am
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Restoration can mean healing or re-birth. Every color effects the human body one way or another whether it makes it feel better or worse. Red is known to boost energy and increase the body’s circulation, but it may also increase feelings of anger and frustration. Oranges and yellows are thought to uplift moods and increase communication, but too much can be too stimulating. Blues and Greens are known to create a sense of calmness and collectivity and help someone with insomnia, high blood pressure, migraines and anxiety, but when used in dark shades, it can lead to depression and sadness.

Wong, Cathy. “Color Therapy.” What are the Healing Affects of Color? 03 1994 22 Jan 2009 <;.

Michelle Stuart


Color selection in universal design January 21, 2009

Filed under: Bathroom Design,Color Use — ia2studio @ 1:21 am

There are very few guild line for color selection in universal design. However, as we age we lose large percentage of our eye’s capability to receive light. Therefore, it is very important not only to choose a beautiful color but also a high contrast color in universal bathroom design.

Sauce:George A. Covingto and Bruce Hannah, Access by Design, Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1997.

From: Yu-Huan Wang