I have always been motivated by an insatiable drive to alter my physical environment to my liking, constantly looking for ways to make the world around me easier to navigate. Over time I have slowly come to realize that my motivation for doing this was to find a happy place. A place where mental health and over-all wellness is supported and easy to maintain when life gets all LIFE on you.
WHAT IS THE HUMAN FACTOR?
Let’s get technical for minute… The human factor or ergonomics, is the element by which the design of products or spaces are measured. It ensures that which is being created has been maximized for function, enjoyment, and ease of human use. In my line of work this method is applied to the physical environment, ensuring that it caters to the human form physically as well as psychologically.
This method is primarily applied in a form and function approach ensuring elements in a space are sized appropriately for human use. From the way you sit, to the way you move about in a space, the human factor has been considered and designed for. Psychologically, spaces can be designed to prompt specific emotions. Some environments motivate, energize and inspire, while others intend to calm, relax, and put users at ease. These spaces are often intentional, and well designed to elicit the intended emotional response. But what about YOUR daily environment? Your kitchen, your living room, your bedroom. Do these spaces affect your emotional state? You bet they do. But who is controlling the design? Is your space unintentionally affecting your state of mind? I’m willing to bet it is. Good news is, you can change all that.
The better your environment caters to your needs, functionally, the more productive and less stressed you are able to be. Even the wrong color can prevent a space from functioning properly for a person. Studies show the impact our physical environment has on our mental well being runs deep. You might have experienced this at one point or another, through how a particular space might have made you feel. It was likely a combination of the color, the size, or the amount of light in that space that gave you a negative or positive reaction. Ultimately if it doesn’t make you feel good, it doesn’t function for you.
What if one of the factors we design our lives by was: will this bring me joy? will this allow happiness to take center stage? I have begun to measure all that enters my life by the HAPPY human factor. All things are being gauged by this standard: Will this item, product, space, thought, ultimately contribute to my overall life goal: to BE HAPPY? I have been applying this theory to my physical and mental environment, much like the human factor or ergonomics defines design, the happy human factor defines my LIFE design.
The Happy Human Factor is a view that I believe can be applied to our day to day lives to help shape our physical environment, and therefore create a space that encourages over all well being. In minimizing chaos and maximizing function we can create a framework that allows calm, and focus, and prioritizes that in our lives that brings us the most joy.