A 'Room to Daydream' crafted with Healthy Materials and Powerful Tactility
Our minds are forever a tangle of thoughts.
Our surroundings are visually charged, overbearing and noisy. And our tools–technology and beloved devices–feed this frenzy, pushing us over the edge.
In the midst of it all, we are desperately seeking a few moments of calm, and opportunities for reflection. Often we are simply waiting for our tired minds to be set free.
Till now, architecture, and more broadly design, has responded to this quest and the overcrowding that lies at its root, by creating serene, clean-lined and uncluttered spaces for people to inhabit. This minimalism, and spaciousness, however, just aren't enough anymore. An enveloping, complete sensory experience is needed to cocoon us, and create a true respite from the hubbub of urban life.
No wonder then, that the textured, soft and warm niches of the Room to Daydream have struck such a chord with all those who have interfaced with it. Room to Daydream, created for the Pop-up store at Thrive Global's location in New York, is an installation–a choreographed sequence of temporary spaces–born from a collaboration between the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons School of Design, and Ariana Huffington, whose venture Thrive Global focusses on health and wellness information.
Until January 15th, 2017, New Yorkers have the opportunity to visit (and nap in) the Room to Daydream and experience a restful and mentally rejuvenating environment like no other.
Together with 'Pre-Dream' and 'Awake' spaces, the core of this installation–the 'Daydream' space–helps visitors to strip away the clutter of their minds, slip into blissful naps, and most importantly, makes it easy for them to daydream. The designers of the Room to Daydream are acutely aware of the possibilities that daydreaming holds for us–Its potential to spur creative thinking and problem-solving, and to unlock ideas that even the focused mind cannot. This awareness forms the backbone of the design, along with the intent to create healthier environments that promote well-being.
Now, physically speaking, how is this all made possible? What are the ingredients of this therapeutic, yet invigorating experience?
Here are three key elements, or design moves, that we identified and believe are crucial to creating this successful space and sensory experience: Healthy Materials, Abundant Tactility and Strategic collaborations.
From walls, floors and even a bed blanketed entirely with Flokati wool rugs, to non-VOC emitting mineral-based paint for the ceiling–every surface in the 'Daydream' room is lined with material that seems to 'give' to the user positively. The materials chosen are non-toxic and contribute actively to well-being. Wool was chosen as the primary material here for its inherent properties–sound reduction and air purification, as well as resistance to bacteria, mites, and mold. Wool is also an excellent thermal regulator for the human body.
Since aggregating 'Healthy Materials' for architectural intervention is the forte of the 'Healthy Materials Lab,' so this selection of materials seems only natural.
2) Abundant Tactility
If you have ever felt a release of stress as you run your feet over a soft textured rug or fresh grass, then you can only imagine what effect an entire room lined with such a material and surface would create. The makers of a Room to Daydream have capitalized on this almost primal human response and created a highly tactile enclosure that gives pleasurable sensations in abundance, while also shielding the visitor from the external world.
3) Strategic collaborations:
A good project is backed by great partnerships. Correct?
This certainly seems to be the case for a Room to Daydream. Pairing Ariana Huffington's passion for wellness, and her understanding of sleep culture, with the in-depth materials expertise of the Healthy Materials Lab, creates a unique and successful partnership.
Also, key to this project, are the partnerships forged with suppliers of sustainable and healthy materials and objects, who donated these materials for the installation.
From EcoDomus paint (zero VOC, mineral-based), by RomaBio; to Flokati 100% wool wall and floor coverings, donated by Coco-Mat. From Pillows, by Coco-Mat, to Wool Sheer Curtains, by Donghia and a Daybed, Bench, and Blankets, from Design Within Reach–This space brings together sustainable surfaces and materials from many different sources, and employs their inherent strengths.
To learn more about this project and the great work being done by the Healthy Materials Lab, click on the link below.
To visit the 'Room to Daydream' before January 15th, make a trip to Thrive Global in New York, at the address listed below:
Thrive Global Pop-up Store
419 Broome Street (SoHo)
New York, NY 10013