Vaid and Evans have learned that all of the repercussions of moving to “better” housing are not necessarily positive. As they detail, “Slum rehabilitation programs in economically developing countries are designed to improve housing and enhance residents’ health and well-being.” During their study “Housing quality was assessed by trained raters on a walk-through among women in public housing as well as those currently in slums on wait-lists to relocate to public housing.
Children need a space they can claim as their own, just as adults do. Palludan and Winther confirmed via research with children and young people, some as young as 6 years old that “Children have dreams and expectations of establishing a space by way of having their own room and stuff, and they implement this desire for ownership through specific strategies to obtain material presence and leave territorial marks.”
Being in the dark has benefits
Swanson and her team have found that psychological wellbeing levels are higher when people have more sunlight in their homes. During research conducted in Scotland, the researchers estimated how much natural light could possibly enter a home, factoring in window size and orientation, if anything (such as furniture) was blocking the flow of light into a home and occupant behavior. They called their estimate “annual sunlight opportunity.” Calculations identified “a significant positive association between well-being and annual indoor sunlight opportunity but no relationship between sunligh
Why do some spaces feel like homes but not others? Scientists have thoroughly investigated the a
Ideas for designing homes that promote wellbeing
Cox has investigated properties that people link to homier environments, and her findings are relevant to the full range of spaces where people will live, even temporarily. As a press release from the publisher of Cox’s study (Home Cultures journal) states: “Rosie Cox’s study in Home Cultures explores property owners’ notions of ‘home’ and their home making journeys and argues that sometimes what is ‘homey’ about a home is its very lack of robustness. . . . Cox interviewed 30 homeowners from New Zealand about their home improvements. . ..
Anyone designing spaces for people living with dementia will find the online materials and app available through the Dementia Enabling Environment Project (DEEP) Virtual Information Centre useful.
Confirmation: clutter is undesirable
Cervinka and colleagues studied the relative restorativeness of several spaces, and their findings have been published in Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. A related press release states that the team found that when participants in their survey-based study “rated the restorative value of their private lounges, terraces, balconies and gardens. . . . that gardens are experienced as being significantly more restorative than balconies or terraces [or lounges]. . .