June 30, 2020 \ Interiors
by Catrìona Macdonald
Well designed interiors are good for your health.
Studies show that well designed interiors are better for us. As designers, the choices we make can not only lower risk of illness but, can actually improve health.
Some historians believe the simple lines, sharp geometries and contemporary materials of mid-century design aesthetic were a reaction to the early-20th century health crises of cholera, typhoid and flu – a time when ornamentation and intricate carving (perceived as a perfect breeding ground for dangerous microbes) were commonplace and celebrated.
Might there be a similar transformation in design in response to the current pandemic?
Studies show we spend up to 80-90% of our time indoors, where the environment can be up to 5 times more toxic than outside. Worryingly, a number of health issues have been linked to poor quality internal environments, including: low energy levels, frequent colds and respiratory problems. These are often caused by two main kinds of contaminant: Microbial (including mould, mildew, allergens and bacteria); and Chemical (including volatile organic compounds, second-hand smoke and cleaning chemicals.
“But, there are materials that can inherently eliminate 99.9% of bacteria from their surfaces in 2 hours.”
Our interiors team has been researching materials and finishes that can actively help “clean” our homes, offices and schools of dangerous microbes and chemicals.
Careful material selection, whether antimicrobial coating technology (applied to ceramics, flooring or laminates) or use of plants and paint to filter air, can help us to create clean spaces, which are good for our health.