The Restorative Quality of Residential Housing Typologies with Natural Features at the Building Edge: A Case Study from Edinburgh, Scotland
This research aims to understand how natural characteristics and architectural features at the building edge can provide a connection between interior and exterior spaces and more specifically how these connections could result in restorative experiences and helping residents to have a healthy and restorative living environment through the sensory and physical access. It also, explores how residents feel about their home particularly, the opportunities they have to rest, relax and recover at home and how its design, internal and external features and favourite places at their home can help them to feel relaxed and recover from fatigue or stress, to uplift their spirits when they are in a negative mood and in total to restore their inner balance.
This research involves a mixed-method i.e. both quantitative and creative qualitative methodologies to explore these issues, resulting in recommendations for designing future residential buildings with access to suitable micro-restorative environments. Data will be collected in two phases from residents in Edinburgh. Such data will primarily be gathered through the online questionnaire tool called Qualtrics survey software. The survey aims to understand how housing designs can influence people’s health and mental well-being so that we could improve future home designs and adaptations and for the follow-up study, it uses a creative and participatory arts-based research method which takes up around one hour and will be split into two half-hour activities. The art- based interviews will be more focused on the residents’ expectation of an ideal home by using an imagined scenario that could be when they are in a negative mood or when they are feeling mentally worn-out.
It combines ideas from planning, environmental design and phycology disciplines supported by the cross-discipline supervisory team, with implications for the development and retrofitting of residential housing stock, thus providing valuable outcomes for a wide range of academic and industrial stakeholders. Outcomes will extend psychological restoration research and contribute to the designing and planning of sustainable cities.
Professor Harry Smith and Dr Sarah Payne
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