BEYOND SPACES: A GUIDE TO MINDFUL DESIGN

A guide to a more mindful design and build practice

As designers and architects, we are creating mini worlds for people to inhabit on a daily basis. Our decisions and how we approach our projects affect hundred’s if not thousand’s of people that pass through our spaces every day or if your doing residential work, an entire family, on a very deep level.

That is a HUGE responsibility and I want to make sure that we don’t forget it for a second of our work days. So how do we deliver our best and be the best possible version of ourselves? I think it’s all about mindfulness– especially in this non-stop world of texts, emails, social media and crazy client. And how do we as designers cultivate mindfulness? By somehow, someway, finding the time to slow the f&%$ down. Whatever that looks like for you- meditation, exercise, a walk in nature, breathing exercises, ETC. It’s important that we do something every day for at least 5 – 20 minutes to slow down, slow our minds down and learn to just be. It is only from this place of calmness and no stress can we be mindful designers and architects that change the world one space at a time.

So now that we’re calm and collected, what should we strive to do and how she would approach all of our projects? Check out the Beyond Spaces Guide below:

  1. Really listen to our clients so that we’re not only hearing what their functional needs are but we are going beyond that, reading between the lines- to really understand them and anticipate what they may need even when they don’t know it yet.
  2. Provide innovative designs and solutions and not just repeat what has already been done before. Always pushing ourselves beyond that first idea. I call this A to Z thinking.
  3. Hire sub contractors and partners that are good people and will not only do great work, but also bring good energy to the project and new space. That said, you need to be nice too. As a creator of the space, the energy you put into the project will become a part of the space as well- so make it positive!
  4. If breaking new ground on a project, give thanks and blessings to the land you are building on. Because without it, you wouldn’t have a canvas to work on and it is the foundation of your structure.
  5. Use non-toxic, natural, sustainable materials as much as possible so that your clients are living and working in the healthiest spaces possible and you are respecting the Earth and it’s natural resources.
  6. Understand that our choices in color, lighting (both natural and artificial) and HVAC have a huge impact on the inhabitants of our spaces and should not be a after thought.
  7. Bring nature into the space as much as possible- this has been proven to have a myriad of positive effects on inhabitants and will help bridge the gap of our current disconnection from nature.
  8. Create spaces that bring people together and easily enable human connection.
  9. Incorporate a quiet space that can be used for meditation or just sitting in silence wherever possible because in our information overload world, this is what people need the most even if they don’t know it yet.
  10. If working on a commercial space speak with everyone from the janitor to the CEO during your research phase so that you are getting information and feedback from every human working in the space no matter what their position or title, therefore, leveling the playing field.

Overwhelmed, confused and thinking there’s no way I can do this? Shoot me an email at gala@galamagrinadesign.com, we can grab a coffee and talk more.

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