Number 61 in our countdown of '70 Ways Art Improves Our Health' highlights how architecture can boost our happiness and wellbeing…

From offices to hospitals, the design of spaces in which we live and work can have a dramatic effect on our mental health.

Most of us already know this. In a 2004 review by the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, 85% of people said that the quality of their environment influenced the way they felt.

Our team installing art at a Maggie's centre, a care organisation founded on the belief in the power of buildings to uplift people.

Philosopher Alain de Botton says: “one of the great causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kind of walls, chairs, buildings and streets we’re surrounded by”.

At Paintings in Hospitals, we believe that care spaces can do much more than just enable the treatment of patients. The best care spaces can boost physical health, mental health and the wellbeing of everyone who lives and works in them. That’s why we work directly with patients and care staff to co-curate art displays through activities for and in their own spaces.

According to the recent Creative Health report, good environment design need not cost more and could actually save money. Gellinudd Recovery Centre, a mental health facility in Wales, was a co-designed with its service users. It is estimated to save NHS Wales £300,000 per year.

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