We often make the assumption that wellness is directly linked to the health industry, be it fitness programs, nutritional experts or day spas. When it comes to design, we have huge opportunities to contribute to the wellness of society, including ourselves and those we love.
The way we choose to design a space will have a direct influence on the quality of life of the future inhabitants, be they residents of a home or patrons of a commercial venue. When we shift our priorities from a need to impose designs that speak only of our ego, to the creation of a space that nourishes the soul, we are considering the wellness of our clients.
Wellness, though, must start with the treatment of our own self. We need to take good care of our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being before we can take care of the needs of our team and our clients. Personal wellness means working hard to ensure we are feeding all 12 Areas of Life Balance (read more here) that enrich our lives, relieve stress and make us better designers. It means feeding our souls through preparing and sharing fine foods, connecting with nature and loved ones and finding peace and calm to quieten our busy minds.
Most importantly, a positive attitude promotes wellness. Positivity generates positivity. Starting with ourselves, we can change negative habits of seeking scarcity, revelling in drama and willing doom. We can start to see challenges as opportunities to learn and stop looking for reasons to make ourselves small and powerless.
When designing a space we have the opportunity to prioritise how it is used, and the level of joy those using it will feel. Natural light fuels happiness, colour lifts mood, generous spaces that flow make life easy and beautiful tactile furnishings provide respite from our hectic world.
When designing a restaurant, bar or café, we have a responsibility to ensure that we are enriching the lives of the customer. We need to make sure that they feel welcomed and that their needs are understood. We need to make sure that they have an experience that made it worthwhile leaving the safety of their own four walls.
It is also an opportunity to encourage people to reconnect; putting down their mobile phones, putting away the day’s work and focusing on each other – talking, laughing, eating and drinking. After all, isn’t that what it means to be well?
Article by Andrew Mitchell (The Design Coach)
IMAGES OF RAES ON WATEGOS Courtesy Madeline Johnson