We’re going to talk about emotional experience, which is a hugely broad subject. What is emotional experience – what exactly are we talking about?
Muriel: Firstly, we are all different emotional beings, we’re all individuals with different approaches to different things. Our response to what happens around us is different – depending on gender, age, culture etc.
Secondly, we already know there are some specific elements that are created with the ability to improve concentration, focus and to be calmer around the space we’re occupying, based around lighting, acoustics, the sense of belonging and identifying yourself within this space. Other elements are related to ourselves: our systems, our health, the food we eat…
We can design something like a hotel, where someone is there by option – so they have the option to leave the space and never go in again – but in the workplace we’re there for the next 5/10 years. Therefore, we are engaged on a permanent basis with this space. CBRE ran a sample of two teams and spent six months to try to understand how different spaces impacted on individuals. We improved air quality, improved the presence of plants and biophilic design, improved noise control. The level of accuracy increased almost 40% with the presence of things such as a biophilic design/concept and noise control that meant the level of concentration increased. The most interesting results from this research related to nutrition and food – those who consumed sweet snacks, like donuts, were around 25% less likely to concentrate than those who took an apple at the same time!