Camino Restaurant, Oakland CA
We were intrigued by a recent study at the University of Minnesota, indicating that high ceilings spur creative thinking. The study concludes that people in a high-ceiling room are "primed" to think broadly because of the sense of freedom associated with the space... while the containment of a lower-ceiling room encourages people to think small and focused. Read the article. PDF
This study comes out of the emerging field of "atmospherics." Atmospherics, primarily used for retail / consumer studies, examines the ways in which people's environment affects their thinking and well-being, but until now most research had focused on sensory factors such as smell or background music, not structural aspects. This information about spatial relations, usually intuited by designers, is now a matter of science.