You see therefore you are


The Cube is a London based think tank of “would-be-entrepreneurs” who are concerned with creating sustainable businesses and generating economy. Part of how they do this is by considering the physical workspace and its relation to the people using it. Their blog featured an essay on February 28 entitled The Neurology Of Art. It talked about the ways that different images affect different people depending on the person’s personality type.

“If we are to look at a painting with hard edges and bold colors it might make us feel on edge or intimidated. If there was another painting which had more muted, dull and darker tones with curves and soft edging we may begin to feel more relaxed. “
You might be thinking that this sounds pretty obvious and that you don’t need a bunch of designer Brits in rigid-but-stylish-eyeglasses telling you how a Rothko makes you feel. But it becomes a little more interesting when they begin to explore how this could be exploited in the workplace. Consider the other factors that impact how we work: the season, time of day, lighting, architecture, etc. These conditions could be counteracted by carefully selecting the appropriate art. If an office were to display (using The Cube’s experience, here) “rich bold shades of dandelion yellow, soft honey tones, bright pink, striking blues and lime green” during the winter season, workers’ minds would be on the task at hand instead of hibernating.

At home, people tend to choose art and objects that make them feel a certain way – that’s a given. Those’re personal possessions that we have chosen. But at a job, we’re taken out of our comfort zone and put into a place of productivity where we’re expected to interact with others. Our reaction to art that we didn’t select is likely to be different. What if in that setting, art could become a tool just as much as a laptop or your favorite stapler? A tool that would elicit different work habits.

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