Design Elements and Knowledge

Home doesn’t need to be boring. It can be fun, and you still can learn from that. A lot of people don’t believe how a physical setting can interfere with who you are and how your emotions can be affected.

First, we should think about this question: How do we learn? When we were a baby, when we said our first word, and when we went to school, we learned. In those situations, we had a physical interaction with another person. These interactions create what we call knowledge.

Knowledge is facts, information, and skills required by a person, but how about a physical interaction with elements around us? To get to this answer we will use the four types of knowledge: Declarative, Procedural, Contextual, and Somatic.

Declarative knowledge consists of facts, world history, or rules for mathematical equations. Procedural knowledge is how to perform a specific skill or task. Contextual knowledge is the perspective of how we interpreted any information or situation. Somatic knowledge involves senses, perceptions, and mind-body action and reaction.

We can relate those four types of knowledge to elements of design using the following idea: “In a living room there’s a framed map of the USA in 1776. It was passed from generation to generation. That man who owns the map decided to frame and hang it on his wall.” Explanation: The map on the wall has a world history (declarative knowledge). The man had a task to frame and hang it (procedural knowledge). That was the man’s decision to make (contextual knowledge), and every day this man walks to the living room, he will see the framed map (somatic knowledge).

Interior design can affect us much more than we think. In our subconscious there are millions and millions of thoughts. Most of those thoughts we don’t know exist. For example, a decorative element may be a trigger for someone. It may remind the person of a bad relationship that they had. Or for example that man has good memories when he sees the framed map on the wall. The decorative element can give us stimulation to be strong and happy and help us to be who we are.

Colors also have a great impact on people. They can affect our moods as well as stimulate us to do something. When we are driving, and we see a red light, we tend to stop immediately. Warm colors are stimulating and get our attention. Cold colors like the green lights tell us to relax and go.

All this information about knowledge and colors is essential for us to know how affected we can be by the design in our home. A good designer is able not only to create a good atmosphere around us, but also to provide benefits to us. For example, the article “Planning to Learn: The Role of Interior Design in Educational Settings” (Kaup, Kim, & Dudek, 2013) shows us how possible it is to create a design project and learn from it. The students who were involved in the process explained their perception. They understood that it is possible to be affected by things surrounding them, things that they never thought could possible to either contribute to or slow the learning process. The students investigated every part of the school and they observed how early childhood is an especially important stage in human development. The results for this project were amazing. It was a physical and mental benefit to who spend the day at school. The teachers were very surprise with the results started to pay attention to the quality of the classroom and what could be improved to the benefit of the students. It was a learning(educational) improvement for all because design and knowledge are fundamental to us.



Migette L. Kaup, PhD, Hyung-Chan Kim, & Michael Dudek (2013). Planning to Learn: The Role of Interior Design in Educational Settings. International Journal of Designs for Learning.

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