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Promoting Wellness in Physical Environments

More than ever, personal well-being is a guiding force in consumers’ daily lives. No longer viewed within a one-dimensional silo, consumers have come to understand and recognize the all-encompassing importance that the design of physical environments and systems have on their individual health and wellness. This increasingly holistic prioritization of a well-balanced environment is leading to drastic shifts in expectations around the physical spaces consumers occupy, and the twinned importance of cleanliness and health. As shoppers continue to embrace and learn more about their own physical health and safety, the environments and ambient stimuli they’re surrounded by and engage with have become central areas of focus. A growing appreciation for health-optimized spaces and personal wellbeing, paired with intensified focus placed on both health and safety is driving new interest in practices, devices and architecture that support safety, cleanliness and personal well-being.

Many consumers are seeking a return to nature as a way to slow down and embrace calm and quiet. Renewed focus is being paid to lighting, air quality, soundscapes and materials to create spaces that work in synergy with natural rhythms to promote greater health and happiness within often chaotic urban environments. As a result, architecture and engineering practices, as well as in-home devices, are embracing new design principles that highlight balance and regeneration. Additionally, new technologies are being developed and deployed in a variety of ways to ensure the cleanliness and safety of public and private spaces. Vertical gardens and other growing solutions are extending seasonality and further shrinking the distance that food must travel to get to a plate, as well as increasing the sustainability impact individual’s can have at home. The ability for individuals to grow their own produce and herbs also opens up opportunities for personal growth, self-sufficiency, and community building.

In this report, the PSFK Labs team dissects the ways brands and retailers can innovate the experience and design of their offerings in order to support consumers along their journey to live a well-balanced life within a healthy, productive environment. To help our members better understand the trajectories at play in this increasingly important space, PSFK has identified 4 key trends supporting new approaches to design that bring together the best of technology and the natural world to foster health, wellness, and growth.