3 reasons why you should design spaces for humans

Emma Estborn

Most spaces today are not designed for humans or our new ways of working. This makes living obviously harder. But it doesn't have to be like this. We have to design spaces for humans – here are 3 really good reasons.

”We shape the buildings, thereafter they shape us”, Winston Churchill said already in 1944. And even if human-centered design has evolved since then most physical contexts are still designed in the same way. Let's point out why we have to focus on humans when we are designing.

1. Our new ways of living and working – requires that we design for humans

Our buildings and environments profoundly effect our behavior, feeling, identity and well-being. We need to construct a world better suited to human experience, one of US’s chief architecture critics argues

Have a look exactly how tough it can be to conduct work in an ordinary open work space environment here: 

And think again: why not design a future workplace with focus on humans? Only by understanding human and organizational needs, we can design spaces that are supporting our new ways of working and enabling a smooth work life flow. 

2. New technology isn’t smart until it enables human needs  

In many existing buildings we insert new technology but miss to design human interactions and services. This interesting reading describes how automation is transforming buildings and making them less hospitable for human use. The current self-service and automation trend as ”post-human-architechture” – one in which structures are geared more at generating machine interactions than bringing us humans together. Humans are forced to toil alongside machines. 

Do we really want to do the same thing over again – to shape the machines so that they thereafter shape us? Instead, let's design interactions and services by understanding behaviors and design for the human context. 

Have a look at the ones who have always designed by understanding user needs and expectations. Digital natives such as Amazon are already designing physical spaces such as grocery stores with a completely new and better experience, offering innovative solutions to ordinary problems - with new technology as enabler. 

3. It’s the only way to innovate in a time when behaviors are rapidly changing

Human centered design applied to physical contexts hasn’t been more needed. We live in a time when technological innovations and digitalization’s has disrupted our behaviors. Humans feel more and more empowered as customers, consumers and users, meaning they have higher and higher expectations of their interactions, not only with products and companies, but also from their surroundings.

Only by understanding those new human behaviors and expectations, we can innovate the contexts meeting these needs. In an innovative collaboration IKEA and Adidas are about to do just that. 

 By understanding what people want and need when it comes to exercising, sleeping and eating at home, they want to shape the contexts and services enabling healthy habits.

Spaces designed for humans

Its time to look beyond square meters. At inUse we call this new frontier Human Spaces. It’s human-centered design applied to physical contexts. By understanding human behavior, we design the interactions, services and context as one cohesive experience. Learn how here!

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