As Enrichers, we research and design environments to optimize the neurological functioning of people.
Environmental enrichment is the stimulation of the brain through the social and physical surroundings. Neuroscientific research has shown that an enriched environment has positive effects on the brain in multiple ways.
Effects on the brain
An enriched environment is positively influencing the behaviour and brain activity of the user, such as increasing neurogenesis (growing new neurons) and improving synaptic plasticity (the ability of synapses to change in function or shape). Environmental Enrichment has been studied within the field of neuroscience since 1947 and is a commonly researched topic on captive animals.
Although there is a number of studies that show positive benefits on the brains of mice living in enriched environments, research within the human environment has rarely been done, let alone applied. By developing products and spaces based on environmental enrichment we aim to bring this into our daily lives.
Enriched environments provide stimuli in the somatosensory, visual, cognitive and motor areas of the brain. Also circadian rhythms are crucial in order to create optimal enriched environments. As Enrichers, we research how we can implement environmental enrichment within human surroundings and design the applications to do so.
At Schiphol, we created a Living Lab, consisting of objects from our first Hypothesis Collection. The Collection is based on our studytrip to the University of Cambridge, mentored by Professor Jenny Morton (Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Cambridge). Here, we gained specific and valuable insights for our designs.
Visit us at our Living Lab at Schiphol to experience how it affects you. Please contact us to schedule a meeting.