The Happy Design Toolkit : Architecture for Better Mental Wellbeing book cover
1st Edition

The Happy Design Toolkit
Architecture for Better Mental Wellbeing

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after March 1, 2022
ISBN 9781859469866
March 1, 2022 Forthcoming by RIBA Publishing
240 Pages

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Book Description

If you were to design a building that prioritises occupants’ happiness, what would it look like? How would the materials, form and layout support healthy ways of living and working? Delving into the evidenced-based research on architecture and mental wellbeing, The Happy Design Toolkit helps you to create happier places. It explores how factors, such as lighting, comfort, control over our environments and access to nature, exercise and social interaction, can impact how we feel.

Easy-to-understand tips include bringing nature into your developments with roof gardens and living facades and countering social isolation with communal areas that encourage chance interaction. Each of the featured architectural interventions includes an analysis of the wellbeing benefits as well as the potential limitations or associated challenges. From sparking joy in individual homes and workplaces to encouraging healthier lifestyles through landscaping and urban design, this book demonstrates how wellbeing concepts can be integrated across a range of scales and typologies.

Packed with inspiration and advice, The Happy Design Toolkit will breathe new life into your projects and help you create a happier and more inclusive built environment for everyone.

  • Features real-world examples including Marmalade Lane co-housing by Mole Architects, Francis Holland School by BDP, Maggie’s Centre Oldham by dRMM Architects, Kings Crescent Estate by Karakusevic Carson Architects and Happy Street by Yinka Ilori.
  • Over 100 hand-drawn illustrations of design details and elevations.
  • Essential reading for architects, interior designers, landscape architects and students.

Table of Contents

Introduction & How to use this book

1. Light, natural and artificial

2. Comfort and materials

3. Control and autonomy

4. Nature and biophilia

5. Aesthetics and legibility

6. Activity and exercise

7. Social interaction, community and sense of place


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Ben Channon is an architect specialising in designing healthy buildings. He is author of Happy by Design: A Guide to Architecture and Wellbeing (2019, RIBA Publishing), a Director at design-for-wellbeing consultancy Ekkist, and co-founder of the Architects’ Mental Wellbeing Forum.