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Title: Emotional Architecture for Everyday Life. Architectural Design for Senior Living Oriented by the Psychological Pattern of Elderly People
Author: Wang, Qin
Director: Pelta, Raquel
Bravo i Farré, Lluís
Ameller Ferretjans, Carles
Keywords: Arquitectura
Psicologia positiva
Positive psychology
Issue Date: 15-Jul-2016
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: [eng] Facing the challenges to address complex issues associated with global environmental change and population ageing in the 21th century, architecture design in the developed or developing regions and countries all needs to play a role as a cost-effective tool for sustainable development of our human society rather than a creation only for the sake of art or consumption. This means a substantive ideological change to assess the essential value of architecture according to its long-term impact on people’s health and well-being instead of its metaphysical beauty, and more urgently, calls for some effective and efficient approach for architectural research and practice to integrate all the ethical, aesthetic, environmental, technological and economic considerations into an appropriate architectural model. Beyond an intuitive assumption that the design of built environment affects people’s Health and well-being, and can have long-term implications for the quality of life, this research tends to provide an evidence-based theoretical and methodological orientation to entail architecture with such positive effects, and hence started from a hypothesis that positive emotional effect is the key linkage to correlate aesthetic experience in and of architecture to human subjective well-being (SWB), which is a predominant indicator for measuring general well-being. Accordingly, emotional architecture for everyday life was coined as a special term in this research to represent such an architectural model that functions as a motivation generator for increasing positive human-environment interactions as well as an affective environment for enriching and regulating human emotional state on a basis of daily life. An interdisciplinary framework involving the research fields of environmental aesthetics, positive psychology and emotional design was formulated as theoretical foundation to direct this research. This qualitative research has combined two research strategies of bibliographical review and field study in order to capture the pluralistic qualities of this research in relation to the multiple disciplines of psychology and neuroscience, social science, gerontology, and the professional areas of elderly care and care facility development. Seven research methods including close and extensive reading, access to official documents and statistics, field study notes and photography, semi-structured interviews, participant and non-participant observations have been used for data collection; and narrative, descriptive and interpretative analysis have been respectively employed regarding each research objective. Such a mixed method approach was considered to accumulate diversified research materials and perspectives as much as possible. The theoretical research to identify the general concept and methodological model of emotional architecture for everyday life and the applied research to test its applicability in the specific domain of architecture design for senior living have been conducted and sequentially presented as Part I (Chapter 1 & 2) and Part II (Chapter 3, 4 & 5) in this thesis. In Chapter 1, the related philosophical and psychological theories about the role and functioning mechanism of emotions in influencing people’s perception, motivation and behavior for formulating ethical ideology, aesthetic appreciation, environmental interaction and subjective well-being have been reviewed and taken as evidence to study why and how emotional design approach is possible to comply user experience of a product or environment with user’s long-term well-being. Chapter 2 shows a filtering process to discern the exemplary qualities and design mechanism of emotional architecture for everyday life from the previous architectural design theories and practices by synthesizing the multidisciplinary knowledgereviewed in Chapter 1. Chapter 3 interprets the main influential factors that affirm or oppress design quality and efficacy of senior living architecture in a global context. Chapter 4 explores the essential spatial implications responsive to elderly’s psychological needs for everyday life through a series of field studies in a selected public care facility in Barcelona. Chapter 5 presents case studies on four selected architectural projects for senior living in order to generalize the applicable design methods for positive emotional effects. An inherent difference in aspect of the cognitive process for aesthetic appreciation has been found among artists, design professionals and non-professional users/appreciators, which implies an empathetic thinking with the users and/or occupants of architecture is necessary for architectural designers to filter the effective emotional stimuli and design approach for positive emotional effects in the design process. A general distance between the actual efficacy of senior living architecture and its socio-political target of promoting social and individual well-being has been detected to emerge because that (1) an inherited mind-set of relying on social manifestation and engineering measures has resulted in a bureaucratic formula of architecture design to apply the standardized configurations and technologies; and /or, (2) aesthetic design associated with traditional formal and stylistic aesthetics of architecture does not respond to a user-centered design thinking and evidence-based design methodology at psychological level. With regard to achieving the substantive quality of senior living architecture in an aged society as being perceived as safe, healthy, appealing and healing environment for all ages, technical design measures for compensating physical/mental frailty and disabilities need be fused into a humane backdrop rather than being highlighted as indifferent devices. Hence, a methodological model for designing emotional architecture for everyday life and a working model of emotional architecture design for senior living have been established and associated as a practical approach to enhance reciprocal improvement of architectural research and practice with an inclusive vision of human health and well-being. The overarching conclusion of this research has been that strong potential of architecture design to comply with the socio-political paradigm for general welfare goal lies in an integration of reality-based and future-oriented aesthetic philosophy of everyday life, scientific understanding of multidisciplinary knowledge on human factors, and the application of emotional design approach to adapt various targeted users, and existing cultural/natural context and economic/technical conditions.
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Departament - Disseny i Imatge

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