A Healthy State of Mind: Psychosocial Triggers to Wellness

Marcene Kinney

GBBN is applying original Activity Type Proxemics and Socio-Cultural Environmental Triggers research to create evocative environments designed to trigger emotional connections. Marcene Kinney, AIA, LEED AP and Angela Mazzi, AlA, ACHA, EDAC presented "A Healthy State of Mind: Psychosocial Triggers to Wellness" in Hong Kong to the Design World Health Congress on July 17, 2015. Their collaboration focuses on the need to consider social factors along with clinical ones in healthcare design, combining Angela's research in socio-cultural theories and Marcene's research on Acitivity Type Proxemics. They have developed a formula to predict the social behavior prescribed by a space and map that to desired user behavior (see image above). In their published white paper, they explore psychosocial behavioral cues that provide the antidote to institutional anxiety and isolation found in healthcare environments.


Their research includes recommendations of spatial attributes and environmental anchors to lower stress and promote a positive experience. Using GBBN's Sanya Fuwai Spa and Cardiovascular Center as a case study, they explore social attributes of space using salutogenic (ie, focusing on factors that support well-being), which can be mapped onto physical spaces.