Neuroscience and Biobehavioral : Interior Design and Creativity

By Cho, Ji Young


Interior design, by nature, involves the act of creation. Creative interior design makes our lives comfortable, enjoyable, rich, safe, healthy, efficient, and organized. It inspires us, transforms our lifestyles, and helps us realize the beauty of surrounding space and every day artifacts. An interior space astutely choreographed can positively influence people’s day-to-day behavior, microand macroscale social interactions, multidimensional perception and emotion, and eventually physical and psychological wellbeing.

Creativity is a critical attribute for interior designers, and nurturing creative problem-solving skills is one of the significant goals of higher education (Runco, 2004); however, design is a complex and somewhat mysterious activity encompassing “many intangible elements, such as intuition, imagination, and creativity” (Zeisel, 2006, 19). Thus, understanding the creative design process is hardly easy and only partially possible from inference through the observation of the behavior of designers, produced artifacts like sketches and drawings, interview, and analysis of designer’s verbal protocols.

The rich relationship between interior design and creativity has been somewhat fragmentally discussed thus far. From the perspective of creativity as a multifaceted phenomenon, we address interior design creativity in terms of product (qualities of creative interior design), process (strategies for creative outcome), and person (prerequisites for creative interior designers). Instead of dealing with creativity in general, we discuss the special link between interior design and creativity by proposing a synthesized framework for a domain-specific understanding of creativity in interior design.

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