The interior environment can affect our behavior and have an impact on how we feel. The majority of the influences are subtle, but subconsciously affect us whether we like it or not and are responsible for shaping the interactions of end-users. The color of walls can influence our heart rate and the shape of furniture can affect how well we collaborate with others.
In Viki Elmer‘s recent blog post, she sheds light on research conducted by two Canadian professors from the Sauder School of Business. The Canadian duo studied 350 undergraduate students who sat in groups at either round or square tables, and were then shown advertisements. The students who sat at the square tables favored ads portraying go-getters and cut-throats, while the round table groups responded more positively to ads that conveyed a sense of belonging.
“We find that environmental cues can activate fundamental human needs—the need to belong and the need to be unique. The shape of a seating arrangement has a predictive impact on persuasion,” the researchers summarized.
As Interior Designers we have a unique opportunity to shape the way individuals interact with the interior environment and each other. When done right we help build community, collaboration, and contribute towards organization’s goals.