If a building can provide real-time feedback to assist with promoting positive behaviors, do you think it would be a good idea to design such a building? You see, the implications to designing such a building are many. For instance, notions of privacy, control, and determining what positive behaviors to promote all feed into what might make such a building challenging to build.
Nevertheless, we can already see feedback being used to promote behaviors during regular daily life. For example, your car lets you know how fast you’re going, how much gas you have left, and whether or not you’ve forgotten to put your seatbelt on. In the case of the car, its feedback mechanisms target letting you know how to engage in positive behaviors that keep you and your car safe. Plus, the issues of privacy and control are all dealt with seamlessly.
For a building that is adaptive in its design, it could sense aspects like occupant mood and behavior, from which it could detect patterns — to determine desired outcomes, goals, and/or experiences seeked out by occupants. And in doing so, it could feedback to its occupants with important and timely information to help trigger positive behaviors.
Such positive behaviors could be to exercise more, to watch less tv, to eat healthier, to go to bed earlier for a better night’s sleep, or to become more productive by working smarter and multi-tasking less. Really, the behaviors that are deemed positive and worthy of being an occupant goal might all be embedded within the adaptive building’s fabric. Thus, what the building feedsback via its environmental stimuli would target helping occupants achieve such positive behaviors to reach their goals.
So, to answer the initial question which this article began with: Can Building feedback help to increase positive occupant behaviors? I think that if designed well, then the answer is yes. However, much care should be given to ensure that the building is targeting what the occupant wants to achieve, along with any predetermined safety measures as determined by the architect.
In the end, such an adaptive building could really help to improve occupant lifestyle, health, and happiness. The key is to make certain that the building’s feedback is in fact helping them positively. If designed well, I think that there is much that could be accomplished with such an architecture.
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