The aim of the present research is the design of a workplace with an approach that reduces stressful elements and improves the restorative qualities of the environment itself through a participatory approach. The concept of restorative environment is linked to the notion of environmental stress. Stressful situations affect people working life, compromising proper functioning while causing the occurrence of physiological and/or psychological disorders. To be able to safeguard their psycho-physical wellbeing, employees learn coping strategies to face stress. One of these strategies is the exposure to natural environments which promotes recovery and sustains psycho-physical wellbeing. The restorative properties of natural environments have been proven scientifically. However, even built spaces can be thought of as restorative environments, in particular following the indications of an applied science known as biophilic design. This project, which is still ongoing, involved Amnesty International Italy employees (57 people) in the transition from a site no longer adequate for the needs of the organization to a new site to be renovated. In a first phase, a survey was conducted to assess the perceived quality of the current working environment to detect the unmet needs of the people who work there. What emerged from the survey was subsequently deepened through three focus groups. Afterwards a participatory interior design process started, including volunteers among the employees, architect and internal technicians supported by the researchers of the University of Verona. The team worked together through possible scenarios adopting biophilic design, designing the workplace for the new Amnesty International headquarters.

Environmental Psychology and Participatory Interior Design: a case study

Margherita Brondino
;
Margherita Pasini;
2021

Abstract

The aim of the present research is the design of a workplace with an approach that reduces stressful elements and improves the restorative qualities of the environment itself through a participatory approach. The concept of restorative environment is linked to the notion of environmental stress. Stressful situations affect people working life, compromising proper functioning while causing the occurrence of physiological and/or psychological disorders. To be able to safeguard their psycho-physical wellbeing, employees learn coping strategies to face stress. One of these strategies is the exposure to natural environments which promotes recovery and sustains psycho-physical wellbeing. The restorative properties of natural environments have been proven scientifically. However, even built spaces can be thought of as restorative environments, in particular following the indications of an applied science known as biophilic design. This project, which is still ongoing, involved Amnesty International Italy employees (57 people) in the transition from a site no longer adequate for the needs of the organization to a new site to be renovated. In a first phase, a survey was conducted to assess the perceived quality of the current working environment to detect the unmet needs of the people who work there. What emerged from the survey was subsequently deepened through three focus groups. Afterwards a participatory interior design process started, including volunteers among the employees, architect and internal technicians supported by the researchers of the University of Verona. The team worked together through possible scenarios adopting biophilic design, designing the workplace for the new Amnesty International headquarters.
biophilicdesign, partecipatory design, environmental psychology, restorative environments, workplace
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1064915
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