Stage: Researching Recording

FDN 101

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Assessment 5:
Case Study

Ms. Mai Al Khalifa








Fatema Ali
Husain Al Rahma

ID: 2847

Section 2

Kim Colwell Case Study –
Design Psychology/ Interiors That Heal

challenges :

psychology is used for clients that are in the need of psychological well-being
 through configurative changes in their home, clinic or office . Interior
designers use this method to help these clients break through a psychological
problem or a psychological trauma by changing and redesigning the area
surrounding them to their liking and their personal taste . This way, the
modifications of the designs help with improving of the person’s mentality
which is the intention of the designer in the first place . It is questioned
whether the design or the set-up of an area has an effect on the psychology of
the individuals who live or use that particular space . However, if the
authenticity of that effect is verified then the designer must change the sense
of that space in order to change the client’s state of mind . In other words,
the method of design psychology is used as a healing factor for these clients .
Despite that, if the individual’s emotional disorder which is caused by
belonging that trigger painful memories from their past is the factor of the change
of dynamics of the certain space they are in and have a deep effect on their
mentality and the quality of the life they are living then the décor and design
of that space does not show the personality of the individual which leads that
state of mind to only grow worse .

The project was about redesigning a mid-century home,
and the mission of the designer in this project was to visualize this home to
be good-looking and help the client to heal psychologically too . Also, the new
design must be expressing her personality so it would support the ability to
connect with her true self and heal as an outcome . This way the client will be
more healthy, cheerful and nurturing home. The designer used the techniques of
the Feng Shui 1 method to cure the damaged parts of the residence .
A part of the client’s kitchen and the dining corner which together form the
relationship area according to the Feng Shui energy division 2 were
missing from her home and needed to be cured . The original kitchen has an
unwelcoming layout because the eye does not have a certain point to concentrate
on . There was nothing to draw the attention of the eye or anything that feel
appealing . The layout of the house was not helpful in allowing the energy to
flow in ease which created a freeze in the flow of the energy .

1 Feng Shui is an ancient link between
art and science developed in china. It is believed to divide energy to eight
parts according to the directions of the compass .

The directions of the compass of the Feng Shui and the energy of each direction

3 The previous photo of
the relationship area ( The kitchen and the dining corner) .


The first step to begin
the project was when the designer got to explore the personality of the client,
to look at the way she lives, the way she thinks, to know the purposes she has
and what textures, visuals, colors, décor and style draws her attention . That
way the designer can build the design to fit the personality, the taste and the
purposes of the client, to make that design fitting to their liking . What was
found by the designer Kim Colwell was that the client tends to modern
mid-century designs and the contemporary designs specially the clean lines and
the rounded edges, not only that but she also liked the mix of the two together
. Feng Shui was the core of every decision whether it was major or not and even
with applying the design psychology principles . The area of the kitchen and
the dining corner got repaired according to the Feng Shui method and rules
by  exchanging the kitchen and the kitchenette
areas which allowed the designer to fix the missing relationship area by
pushing the exterior wall, to allow an over flow of the natural light in that
area they swapped the cabinet wall with sliding doors . To expand the place a
little more, create a center of attention and increase the flow of air they
opened up the wall over the dining corner .

The designer considered
this project as an interior therapeutic design project, Kim started to imagine
way possible to make a deeper connection form between the client and her
residence and connections between her and her guests . For example, using the
area of seating in the dining area as a welcoming way to draw the person into
the space from the kitchen doorway and she thought of placing a stove top as an
idea to help communications between the guests and the hostess while she is
preparing the meal . All these ways help form strong connections which will
help the client to heal eventually . As one of the reasons of using the Feng
Shui rules in designing a room is bringing the feeling of warmth and harmony
into the space, in contrast using
design psychology principles bring the sense of a dynamic environment that
shows the client’s personality and true core and give good support to the
emotional life as well . Instead of having belongings that triggered painful
memories new items that can trigger a sense of inspiration were placed in
visual areas .

since the changes and construction the designer can make a statement that her client
for years now has been in a happy relationship . The client has been attending
lectures and talking about her experience in using design psychology and Feng
Shui in redesigning her residence and the process of the project, she also
spoke about how the reconstruction helped her get pass the painful trauma she
went through previously before the project started . When she moved to the
house in the late 1950’s she thought that the atmosphere surrounding her is
reflecting what she was supposed to be but that environment never allowed her
personality to grow or show the details that made her special . But now that
the house has been transformed and the environment of the house has been  changed to be more satisfying to the client’s
personality which made this change in the atmosphere give the client a home
that supports her on very deep levels . The client was very satisfied that the
new designs of her home helped her trigger her feelings on a deep level and can
reach her emotions and change her state of mind . The designer was happy to say
that she was very glad to have been a part of this experience and be able to
help this person on a very deep level .



Design Psychology is used by Kim Colwell to create a space to heal.
(n.d.). Retrieved December 30, 2017, from


What Is Feng Shui and How Can it Help You? (n.d.). Retrieved December
30, 2017, from