Well-Being and Home Environments

Well-Being and Home Environments

Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 32
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4231-6.ch007

Abstract

Home has a special value for human as it reflects the ways of feeling, thinking, and living of their inhabitants. In this sense, home environments have primary importance in individual and social well-being. This chapter aims to discuss the effects of each well-being requirement in home environments using the design framework for well-being in interiors discussed in Chapter 5. In this sense, each requirement is evaluated in terms of its specific value for home, and the discussion is enriched by a survey study that includes questions about contextual, functional, psychological, social, ergonomic, aesthetic, and sensory requirements addressed in the framework.
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Introduction: Well-Being In Home Environments

Today the marketing value of a housing unit is mainly determined by its location, its area and its number of rooms and services. On the other hand there are many other factors that determine their value in use. Value in use is mostly related to inhabitants’ ways of living and habits related to the living environments. This also has a great effect on the general subjective well-being of inhabitants which is related to contextual, functional, ergonomic, social, psychological, aesthetic and sensory requirements (Saglar Onay, Minucciani, 2018). These requirements can be subject to great changes according to user’s different cultural backgrounds. According to a recent research completed by Minucciani and Saglar Onay (2018), well-being requirements are greatly effected by culture. The results of the interview run in Italy and Turkey show that both general tendencies and those related to age change significantly for the two different cultural contexts. Departing from this argument, it can be assumed that standard architectural and interior solutions have negative effects on inhabitant’s general well-being. Thus, well-being requirements related to space are not standard. In academic studies and research the architectural rigidness of housing units is mostly discussed through case studies. For example, in the housing literature of Turkey, the uniformity in the quality of architectural design is undertaken as a quality problem, because it causes to monotonous built-environment and inhibits the variety in spatial experience of the inhabitants. Moreover, most of these studies agree generally on that this problem mainly affects users’ living standards and decreases their living quality (Tekeli 2008, Sey 1994, Bilgin 2002, Saglar Onay, Garip, Belek Teixeira, 2016)

Not only should a home provide an indoor environment which enables physical well-being, it should also promote mental well-being, providing its residents with a general feeling of happiness and empowerment. There is much overlap between the design features required for these two aspects. Evans et al. (2003) highlight psychosocial processes such that poor housing conditions might impact upon feelings of identity (with consequences for self-esteem), insecurity and risk (with consequences for anxiety and fear), and control (with consequences for self-efficacy). A later review (James 2008) similarly expounded on the impacts of poor housing in terms of powerlessness and stress, lack of privacy, reduced neighbourliness, lower self-image and lower confidence (see Halpern 1995, Hooper et al. 2007, Evans and Stecker 2004 and Cooper-Marcus 1995 for the underlying arguments). Psychosocial benefits from the home would therefore include not only aspects of autonomy and control, but also aspects of security and retreat, and aspects of status and identity (Kearns et al., 2011).

It has been argued that humans have an inherent need for territory and that the possession and ownership of interior spaces satisfies a primal need we share with most mammals (Ardrey, 1966). The interior space of home, in particular, may become a place of territorial centering, the locus from which we venture forth and to which we return (Buttimer, 1980; Rubinstein, 1989). Home may be a place in which the individual may experience a sense of ownership and control (Rutman & Freedman, 1988). The interior space of home may become a place of safety and security. Indeed, a person’s residence may become sacred, a locale in which he or she feels protected and shielded from a profane world beyond (Bachelard, 1969; Buttimer, 1980; Eliade, 1959; Rowles, Oswald, Hunter, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Flexibility: The ability to adapt to changes.

Security: Being and feeling free from potential harm.

Autonomy: Being free to act as desired for one's own life and act in harmony with one's integrated self.

Relatedness: Interacting, being connected to other people.

Privacy: Desired degrees of control over contact with others.

Competence: Having control of what is going around in the nearby.

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