The design of The Mind Room has been a decade in the making. It is layered in decisions and choices, big and small, made with the intention of creating a space that promotes health and wellbeing. This is for our staff as much as the clients and community that we connect with.
Our space is welcoming, well lit, provides privacy where needed, is creative and has unique spaces to wait, chat, explore and connect. It is flexible, with custom-designed environments for one-on-one consulting, spaces to host large groups and collaborative work areas for our clinicians and staff, as well as places to move and rest.
We have drawn on the evidence base from acceptance and commitment therapy/training (ACT), wellbeing science and our own experience working in health settings. A few of the evidence based design and psychological principles that The Mind Room is built on are:
Light: We have maximised the natural light of the building and created an open and airy feel. We have had to balance light with sound quality for the consulting rooms, and opted for skylights and ambient lighting to create a sense of calm focus. Lights are on dimmers so that we can shift the lighting level for calm or alertness depending on the need.
Sound: The consulting rooms are sound tight, so people can feel confident of privacy. This is vital for creating a space where people can open up and be vulnerable during therapy and coaching. We also have commissioned playlists from our local music heroes for the waiting area and open spaces. We also share these on Spotify for anyone to enjoy.
Connection and meaning: The consulting rooms have references to popular culture – art, music, travel, sport – creating a sense of familiarity but also stirring connections and creating meaningful conversations. We have created spaces for people to connect in different ways — such as our waiting area, a library style space for quieter moments of reflection, or spaces to chat or do an activity together.
Art and creativity: We have built in space for lots and lots of art in various forms – murals on the warehouse walls, a gallery for curated exhibitions, as well as our unique events such as Inner Life Drawing with illustrator Oslo Davis. There is now a good evidence base to show us that art can inspire, transform and create a sense of wellbeing and connection. Both art and nature are used in the UK as evidence-based interventions prescribed by health professionals for common mental health issues and are under review in Australia by peak health bodies as a health promotion strategy.
Nature and sustainability: We know the simple act of viewing nature is great for our wellbeing and mental health. In an urban environment that can be a challenge so we have worked with The Plant Exchange to bring nature indoors throughout the building. Sustainability was a key driver when designing The Mind Room, from the layout of the building itself, through to the furniture and finishings. You can read more about the sustainability of The Mind Room’s design here.
Omotenashi: In the design of the reception area you are greeted at eye level by a welcoming face, for an anxious client this simple act of a warm welcome, intended to reassure them that we will take good care of them, is key. It is an understated but strong spirit of hospitality, much like the Japanese idea of omotenashi — to wholeheartedly take care of guests.
Values and people: An organisation’s values act like a compass, guiding behaviour and reflecting what a business stands for. Living by your values is an important predictor of wellbeing. Importantly, our values help us decide whether an idea or behaviour is on- or off-strategy, giving us the wisdom to know when to say yes, or no, to opportunities. At The Mind Room we value and prioritise integrity, connection, curiosity, action and joy. Our intention is that people see our values clearly articulated in the space you walk into and the way we behave.