As we spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors, our surroundings have a significant impact on our lives, particularly on our state of mind and well being. Design Unwind utilises design principles and manufacturing expertise, to create an immersive space intended to positively enhance our mood and ultimately improve life.
Through the application of mood enhancing design principles, leading Australian interior companies Byzantine Design, TSAR Carpets and Arthur G, have tackled the theme of Melbourne Design Week 2020 - how design can shape and improve life.
Simple shapes, soft edges and thickened forms are primary features employed in neotenic design in interior furniture and lighting. As a species, human beings are subconsciously moved by big eyes, round heads, chubby cheeks, and pudgy extremities. It is widely believed that when we see them, the amygdala releases a surge of nurturing and affection.
The principles of neoteny have been employed through the use of the curved (Jay) sofa, (Jay)chair and ottoman edges, rounded terminations and mono materials to alter how viewers experience the space. These ‘cute’ features are comforting, calming and welcoming and elicit a positive emotional response with guests.
TACTILITY & WELLBEING
Tactile stimulation, whether being hugged or walking barefoot on grass triggers oxytocin, the love hormone. It also lowers cortisol levels, reducing anxiety and stress, as well as slowing down blood flow to induce physical relaxation. In this increasingly digital landscape, we have a primal need and crave tactile surfaces that thrill our fingertips. It is the language of compassion, helping us bond and connect with others.
Stimulating tile patterns, complex textural rug designs and furniture upholstery textiles from Belgium based company Designs of the Time, were used to engage the senses. These textiles utilise blends of linen, and sustainable hemp, pure virgin wool, cotton and bamboo to provide textural reprieve from the hard surfaces of modern life. Design Unwind encouraged guests to engage with these materials, and thus become fully present in the space.
PERSONALIZED DESIGN / SUPPORTIVE / MOVEMENT
Design Unwind was a human-centred space - crafted to engage and mentally excite, whilst being physically comfortable and emotionally supportive. Custom designed furniture pieces allow guests to experience the space in whatever posture suits them; lounging, sitting upright or lying down.
Multipurpose Arthur G ottomans serve as impromptu seats, while the inclusion of a hidden tiled surface underneath one ottoman, enables a multitude of uses; from writing surface to drinks stand. The rug has been designed using multiple high pile heights, shag textures and soft, natural wool and Tencel fibres to add warmth and comfort. All pieces including multiple luxe cushions allow the space to evolve and transform with people to suit various moods and occasions. The space encourages personalisation, flexibility and movement.