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Our Homes Shape Us: When neuroscience meets home design

Do spectacular places make special memories possible?

In our blog post marking the 2021 New Year, we reversed the idea that memories make certain places special. For instance, that scenic hillside became precious to you once it became the site of your marriage proposal. But what if we can design places so that new and remarkable memories become possible that wouldn’t otherwise?

Could the design of your home be far more important than you ever imagined? Does good design actually create more opportunities for meaningful moments?

We believe that the careful design of home spaces can and must do exactly that.

And now there is neuroscience to support that belief!

Recent research on the brain suggests that our build environments (e.g. our homes) influence how human brains "construct" memories. Scientists and architects argue that where we spend our time--where we sleep, eat, and play-- is one of the most important parts of identity formation. Places influence how our knowledge about ourselves is constructed and stored.

Researchers even consider the details of our built environment as a kind of "scaffolding" within our brains, helping us hold on to experiences as memories. (How convenient that we get to use building terms to understand neuroscience!)

Hold on tight, this gets down to the cellular level: Research shows that our memories are stored in the same part of the brain that helps us move physically through space. Scientists also believe that the cells used to create long term memory are also the same cells that are used to identify physical places.

What does this mean? It means that we now have science to support what we, as designers and craftspeople, always knew: design matters!

A home may be hiding opportunities that could have been revealed through better design. It might be missing the opportunity to see or experience something beautiful, such as a view to the landscape outside. We want to help you create a new design that provides more opportunities for you and your family to have fulfilling experiences in your home.

When experiences connect your mind, body, and sight to the world around you, you store more vivid and lasting memories.

By creating a new design for your space or spaces together with Lewis Creek, your environment will ensure that your memories stay close as you play, cook, work, converse (zoom!) and dream in your home.

Designing homes has never felt more important to us, as community members and as designers and craftspeople. This new neuroscience is just one more reason to say that design matters.

Your dreams for your home come from a very real and important need to be connected to your memories, your stories, and your loved ones. And we are thrilled to think that Lewis Creek could get the chance to work with you to create the design you have been dreaming about in the new year.


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