Although we are not aware we are innately attracted to places that have characteristics that for our ancestors could have made the difference between life and death. The instinct of survival is also linked to the environment, obviously, and we have not yet forgotten it completely. This explains that, many millennia later, the most expensive and listed homes are usually located on the top of a hill or on the face of a cliff, oriented to large areas of water. Although we live in environments that differ greatly from those of our ancestors, our brains drag marked hereditary traces that explain our preferences for certain spatial models such as those linked to nature and part of the brain wiring responsible for this inclination is similar to that involved in our desire. of food and sex. We develop a congenital preference for locations that allow us to see what is happening around us (perspective) but, at the same time, we need to feel protected and protected (refuge).
Images of the house Na Xemena in Ibiza, projected by Ramón Esteve, photos by Eugeni Pons
These interesting conclusions are part of the work "Psychogeography" by the Canadian Colin Ellard, cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo, who works closely with urban planners, architects and designers, and is one of of the world's leading experts in the conduct of people in relation to their environments.
Science discovers the psychological implications that derive from the spaces where we develop our lives and explains through them some urban and other dysfunctions things that seemed obvious to us, even without understanding them. Now it makes more sense, for example, the need to create green areas in cities, even as vents for the soul from the windows of the apartments.
The applications of this knowledge in the face of health are very evident. Domestic environments can be adapted to these needs and, with the help of home automation, to orient the atmosphere of a room or room to the mood of the people, attenuating the lights, maneuvering with layers of music, aromas, windows or the audiovisual equipment. The idea is that the environment accompanies us instead of allowing us to adapt ourselves to a specific space. The house becomes like this, in a machine of positive energy thought to be made to the mental measures of each person. Knowing our predilection for certain types of images related to nature, it is easy to foresee people's environmental preferences, especially in cities, and to prepare spaces accordingly. The success of companies that install backlit images simulating landscapes through windows or skylights, explains this fact.
Commercial space designers know perfectly the tricks to get customers to stay longer in the environment of the store: air conditioning, olfactory signal, lighting, mirrors … Strategies to increase the feeling of well-being of customers and their decision to purchase. In homes, the objectives must be very different (even if the strategies are similar): improve the quality of life, the health of people and their capacity for intellectual and human growth. Nothing will replace the experience of a walk in the mountains, but it is good to try to fix the sensations that it provokes in our living environment.