Environmental Psychology in Action
This photo is of Temppeliaukio (designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen, completed 1969), a round church cut into solid rock in Helsinki. The daylight that filters into the church from the 180 windows in the structure helps people inside maintain a relaxing connection with the natural world. The colors of the rock faces are not very saturated, but relatively bright, so they are restful as well. Water running along the inner surfaces of the structure burbles, creating a fractal sound pattern that humans find pleasant. The rounded, organic shape of the sanctuary of the Temppeliaukio is comfortable and nurturing. The tranquil and contemplative mood inside this space seems ideal for worshipping.
Tour your world with an environmental psychologist to see how design influences human experience. Take a look at the image above. What psychological effect is this place having? Have an object or space that you’d like an environmental psychologist to assess? Send us a photo of it. Look for your image and the science-based assessment of it here in the weeks to come.