The Role Of The Designer In Making A Difference

Asking the Essential Questions

shutterstock_1119418061.jpg

Design can be a powerful tool, with a profound effect on our lives. It can create nurturing spaces, promote productivity and creativity, and enhance people's relationships. How is this best achieved?

More than ever, as designers, we need to rethink the kind of questions we ask our residential clients. Questions like: what is your style? Or: what do you like your home to look like? have led to unauthentic designs repeating themselves in home after home after home.

The questions asked significantly shape and impact clients' responses. The designer needs to dig deeper to uncover the client's true needs, not only in terms of practicality and lifestyle, but in terms of psychological essentials. What is real, beyond what is on the surface? What energies soothe a given individual, and what lead to pain? What is a given client's true sense of beauty? What is the client's need for support in healing and coping with issues like ageing, depression, ADHD, autism or dementia, and how are those needs changing over time? What environments invoke—for a given individual—serenity or joy? These are the kind of issues we need to uncover and learn about.

Deep understanding of the person on every axis (emotional, mental, social, spiritual, and physical), and taking into account the impact of the natural, social and built environments, are vital steps in this process. When the designer’s focus and concern is the human condition and improving the quality of life, it is possible to design healthy environments that nourish the soul, body, and mind, and elevate the individual's state of wellbeing.

So let’s start by asking the critical questions: questions that unlock the potential to a healthy, fulfilling, and happy life.

nora bouz
Wellbeing Design Consultant