Featured in Real Points, by Jo Staffelbach Heinz
A recent article by Lance Hosey, the Chief Sustainability Officer at RTKL appeared in the New York Times, it’s headline, “Why We Love Beautiful Things” is what really caught my eye. (February 17, 2013)
It makes perfect sense that poorly designed objects can have a negative impact on our health and wellbeing. That poorly designed office chair can definitely harm your back and that poorly designed mattress can ruin your sleep, but do we really understand the enormous impact GOOD DESIGN can have on our psyche?
This article cites last year’s research in Germany that “just glancing at shades of green can boost creativity and motivation based on the fact that we associate verdant colors with food bearing vegetation—hues that promise nourishment.” The article also references the Duke University research that found that our eyes can “scan an image fastest when its share is a golden rectangle, the ideal layout for text and the one most conducive to reading and attention.” This theory of “magical proportions” have been with us for centuries and now continue to influence us. Many things take the shape of this “golden ratio,”– The Parthenon, Mona Lisa, Notre Dame and even the shape of the original iPod.
Buying patterns have proven that design is something we seek out and something that makes us feel better. We want it and we’ll even pay more to get it. Look at the covers of today’s periodicals and the dominance of design. Design attracts attention. Color, shape, form and the balance of all these elements both drives us and calms us. And Coke, Target and an increasing number of everyday brands realize the value of quality design. Of course, Apple has proven it with its products, and DESIGN is at the heart of Apple’s soul.
A UK study demonstrated a direct link between design and business performance. In this study design focused businesses outperformed key stock market indices by 200%. Good design makes good economic sense and clearly good design has become a differentiator.
Well-designed hospitals aid in speedier recovery, well-designed schools support learning better, and well-designed offices have the potential to increase productivity and worker satisfaction. And the real beauty of it all, is that more people of every walk of life are becoming keenly aware of the value of GOOD DESIGN.