GCA.why with Ana García

GCA.why with Ana García

Aware that design deeply affects the mood and behaviour of users, at GCA Architects we promote an architecture which fosters well-being and generates sensations that reflect back from the built environment.

During the latest GCA.why event ‘Neuroscience and Spatial Perception,’ we talked with Ana García, architect and founder of NeuronaLab, about how architectural design affects our brain and behaviour.

Ana stated, “Emotions are reflexive responses to sufficiently intense stimuli that occur in the environment around us, such as architecture and interior design.”

An example of this is the first symbolic building of neuroarchitecture which was constructed when Jonas Salk was attempting to find the polio vaccine. Salk was working in inadequate conditions of lighting and ventilation, so he decided to take a trip to Italy, where he was able to clarify his ideas. There, he had a moment of inspiration: by changing the physical environment, the cognitive system functions better. Convinced of this, he built the Salk Institute together with the architect Louis Kahn. The result of this collaboration was a building cluster which promotes creativity and well-being through architecture and the presence of elements like water.

‘Architectural experience is not limited solely to our visual and intellectual perception; the more we reinforce it with stimuli and natural elements that awaken our senses and connect the user with the environment, the more enriching it will be,’ Ana added.

In conclusion, neuroarchitecture is a great challenge for contemporary architecture. In addition to being efficient and environmentally responsible, projects must incorporate elements which promote the well-being and health of those who occupy them.

This dialogue is part of ‘GCA.why,’ a collective, heterogeneous and uninterrupted debate about architecture and design that investigates the reasons behind our profession.

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