• Nancy Griffin

Wellness Architecture & Design Trends from the Global Wellness Institute



The Global Wellness Institute Wellness Architecture & Design Initiative released 2021 trends including sacred spaces, biophilia, and a work/home balance with a focus on self-care rituals and family.

TREND 1: Spiritual and Numinous Moments in Architecture

Creating spaces that ground, connect and uplift us is an essential part of daily rituals in a fast-paced, ever-connected digital era. Creating moments for mindfulness, introspection and connections is taking all kinds of shapes in our homes, workplaces and communities, from DIY meditation coves to contemporary, non-faith-based temples open to the public.

TREND 2: Deep Integration of Nature

This is biophilic design like we have never seen it. Whether it is more time at the family cabin, the treehouse resort, or updating the backyard as a sanctuary, nature has become our place to reflect, to entertain and play, and to recharge our batteries. Gardening is on the uptick, which is a good thing as the microbes in dirt trigger our neurons and make us happy.

TREND 3: Mass Migrations Cause the Building Industry to Boom

With the ability to work remotely, people are renovating their homes, relocating to rural regions, and second homes are becoming primary residences. All of this is creating high demand across the architecture, engineering, and construction industries with unprecedented lead times in the supply chain and rapidly increasing costs on both materials and labor. However, even with rising project costs, people are still choosing to move their projects forward, as a year of low spending has created savings that are stimulating economic growth.

TREND 4: Wellness Spaces Transform Our Homes Forever

Wellness is a theme, and people are investing in design and DIY treatments to immerse themselves in all things wellness, engaging with designers as well as doing what they can at home to integrate important routines. Often, solutions are simple, from wellness color schemes to aromatherapy, music, plants, and stenciled messages of love and resilience on walls. The premise is that any daily activity, such as exercise, mediation or spiritual practices, demands designated space or even a room within the home, as these rituals are every bit as important to our wellbeing as the kitchen is for eating, the bedroom is for sleeping, and the bathroom is for hygiene.

TREND 5: The Microscope Is on Home Life

After a year of working from home, the home office is here to stay, but maybe not in the way we would have thought. Rather than separating work lives from home lives, people are reevaluating their lives and living situations holistically and with a new focus, one that puts work in balance with self-care rituals and family health and bonding. The office has gone digital, and with less need for filing cabinets, the old office is now the new wellness room, and the laptop has migrated to the dining room or elsewhere in the home.

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