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Art and Psychology: Dr. Susan Painter, Design Psychologist

I just returned from a trip to the lovely Kauai and I can tell you that there is some great real estate over there. Have you ever considered that some good office art might actually be good for your health? That, in fact, a soothing office painting or some similiar office building art could really help lower your stress levels? I was thinking of that the other day and it made me think of this story: All in all, Dr. Painter is an expert regarding how design schools, residential communities for the elderly, and other facilities where there will be high levels of stress. What seemed obvious to her had not necessarily been so apparent to designer and architects who, as she says, were often more concerned with the “form and materials of a building.”
Dr. Painter began to develop the field of design psychology. Her insight into human behavior offered her a way to design and create spaces to better serve the people using them. It reminds me of the office of a Kauai Real Estate firm I took a look at, it really had some terrific pieces but then again, I would imagine that there is a lot to made in the real estate market of Hawaii in general and Kauai in particular, I mean that is just a no-brainer I suppose. As a thesis project, she decided to design a clinic for children to serve a low-income minority community. She wanted to engender “security” in the children and their parents. She developed workspaces designed specifically to meet psychological and functional needs of staff as well as patients and their families. All in all, it seems to me that pleasing office art is so very important, such as a nice office painting, for example. She used light, spaces, materials and even artwork that expressed itself in a physical environment reflective of the high level of care and attention the clinic aimed to provide. Dr. Painter earned an award from the Center for Healthcare Design for the project.
Dr. Painter has gone on to draw from her disciplines in her work in design psychology as an interior designer for an architectural firm that specializes in institutional projects, including courthouses, university buildings, office buildings, and so on. I think that adding a great office art gallery can be a good start in this regard.