How high is your ceiling?

Written by Paper. Posted in Articles, Thinking

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Published on December 22, 2016 with No Comments

Rooms with higher ceilings encourage more abstract thinking. People feel less constrained and therefore think more freely when in a higher ceilinged room. But don’t get all carried away just yet. Lower ceilings cause the room occupants to take a more detailed approach. If you’re getting a new nose, you might want the operating room to have eight foot ceilings rather than ten or fourteen. Better for the surgeon’s focus. While you’re more likely to produce great works of art in a room with a higher ceiling, your credit score depends on a lower ceilinged room because bill-paying is best done there.

Architecture affects your mood and your work. That’s the conclusion in a study done in 2007 by Joan Meyers-Levy, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota. All those folks who have long engaged in feng shui or vaastu shastra, the Indian version, are wondering what gives. Who needed a study to figure this out? Frank Lloyd already knew this. Tour guides at Falling Water have noticed that he incorporated similar principles in his buildings.

Regardless, there is nothing like a published study or two to set minds atwitter. One landscape architect found that ADD symptoms were less severe after the children spent time observing green spaces. Visitors were more likely to stay longer in a carpeted hospital room than one with hard floors. Bright classrooms with views of gardens and mountains improved grades in Georgia. Dimly lit classrooms in Sweden, yielded stressed out kids. Desks in rows encouraged independent thinking while circular arrangements improved collaboration. Given a choice between curved and sharp objects in a room, people liked curves better.

Then there’s this: In one study, University students were questioned separately in a dimly lit room and a bright room. Those in the dim room were more relaxed and shared more about themselves than those in the brighter room. Dim light helps people to loosen up. No word on what happens in dimly lit singles bars. Read the long version here

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