Towards Responsive Interiors: Practicing Neuroscience-Informed Design Approaches in Interior Design Education

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Issue Vol. 5 No. 1 (2022)
Published Jan 30, 2022
Section Articles
Article downloads 989
Submitted : Sep 30, 2021 | Accepted : Dec 24, 2021

Eva Storgaard Marjan Michels Inge Somers


Growing insights from neuroscience—here, understood as an umbrella term for a number of empirical disciplines that study the relation brain, nervous system, genes, and behaviour—and its inquiries into how human behaviour and well-being is affected by interiors can enrich and inform the design of interiors and its properties innovatively. Interior design education can play a key role in linking the insights stemming from research and turn the question of human, experiential responsiveness into an elementary perspective of the design process.

In this paper, we explain a pedagogical method developed for one of our graduate studios that addresses this issue and create a framework for a neuroscience-informed focus. Additionally, we illustrate the outcomes of student work created in this studio through two projects, each having a unique focus relating to interiors and the question of human behaviour and well-being, i.e., visual complexity and affordances. With the establishment of this master studio, we aim to provide students with an awareness and insights into how the many fields of study within neuroscience can facilitate, support, confirm, or adjust design knowledge.

Keywords: interior design, interior education, neuroscience-informed design, visual complexity, affordance

Article Details

How to Cite
Storgaard, E., Michels, M., & Somers, I. (2022). Towards Responsive Interiors: Practicing Neuroscience-Informed Design Approaches in Interior Design Education. Interiority, 5(1), 5–26.
Author Biographies

Eva Storgaard, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Eva Storgaard is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of Interior Architecture at the Faculty of Design Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium. She holds a PhD in architecture entitled The Architecture of Danish Modern: Empiricism, Craft, Organicism (2019). She explores and inquires neuroscience-informed insights in relation to human habitat. She published in academic journals such as OASE, Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture, and Joelho.

Marjan Michels, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Marjan Michels is an assistant professor at the Department of Interior Architecture at the Faculty of Design Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium. She holds a PhD, entitled A Sentiment for Architecture: Educating Embodied Architectural Knowledge in the Design Studio. Michels is co-author of Morphology of Interiors (2019) and published in academic journals such as Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture and TvHO.

Inge Somers, University of Antwerp, Belgium

Inge Somers is an assistant professor at the Department of Interior Architecture at the Faculty of Design Sciences, University of Antwerp, Belgium. She holds a PhD entitled Advancing Interiors: Interiorist Voices on Identity Issues (2017). She published in academic journals, such as International Journal of Interior Architecture + Spatial Design, Journal of Interior Design and Interiors: Design, Architecture, Culture.


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