Honing Lifestyle Architecture for Urban or Country States of Mind

By simply looking at Japan’s subway system in the image above, would you imagine that a person living in this type of city would respond differently to stress as compared to a person living in the countryside? Well, research is indicating that there may just be differences between urban and city dwellers, involving how they handle stress. And furthermore, such differences may be most prominent when considering where a person grew up: whether in an urban or country area. (1)

Thus, when you design a building or residence, how might you think about its design in different terms (from a sensory design standpoint) as you take note of whether it is being used by a city or country dweller? Would such findings indicate that you as an architect need to consider designing for stress (and what yields happiness) with a bit more focus in urban environments? And might one assume that achieving such relaxation within urban environments is a bit more difficult for those urban dwellers? Also, what other demographics do you need to consider when honing in upon the perfect lifestyle architecture for your building occupant?

For instance, I find it interesting to think that a home, office, or school would call for different design elements depending upon whether it is built within the city or country. Of course, populations within each will have their own inherent cultures, and subsequent styles that they prefer. But what if you are designing a home in the city for someone that grew up in the country? It is interesting to think that your design would need to be different than if you are designing for someone that was a lifelong native to the city.

Thus, as you embark into your initial architectural design phases, be sure to look beyond what you see at face value when analyzing what your occupant will need as well as what your design will be able to do for your occupant. And if you are designing a building that will be used daily, as with lifestyle architecture, be sure to consider your occupants’ past as well as their future goals.

In the end, it is all about honing an architectural design into an environment where your occupants will thrive because it was built specifically for them — factoring in all of their strengths and weaknesses.


(1) A New York State of Mind. The Economist. June 23rd, 2011.

Image Credit: © magnetbox | Flickr


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