What Is "Evidence Based Design"?

EBD is a design methodology built on experiential design and research-driven best practices, that acknowledges that human beings instinctively look to their environments for cues as to how they should feel, what they should think, and how they should act. Because of this, the growing body of work in EBD continues to show that shapes, textures, colors, and imagery within the spaces and environments that human beings inhabit are able to directly influence how a person thinks and feels. 

Designers then apply Evidence Based Design best practices with the goal of triggering specific emotional and cognitive responses from the people who utilize a particular space.

What kinds of responses?

  • Each person has an average of 60,000 thoughts per day, with 95% of them being the same thoughts repeated every day[1].
  • The human brain is, thanks to evolutionary survival needs, wired so that negative experiences are ‘stickier’. We perceive negative things as impacting us more strongly, and we instinctively hold on to negative memories and thoughts for longer and more prominently[2].
  • In a healthcare setting, these experiences can range from feelings of pain, illness, and discomfort, to feelings of disorientation and anxiety at being in an unfamiliar place. They can also include intense feelings of depression, fear, apprehension, and stress.
  • Viewing art has been shown to trigger a surge of dopamine into the orbito-frontal cortex of the brain. This combination is known to be involved in feelings of desire, affection, and pleasure[3].
  • Viewing art has also been shown to be able to disrupt negative thought cycles by distracting the viewer and allowing them to refocus their perception on an alternative[4].

Traditionally, Evidence Based Design has seen the greatest adoption in healthcare settings. But thanks to the work of EBD advocates and designers, EBD is expanding beyond healthcare to corporate settings, education, government, and more.




Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us