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"We shape our buildings and afterwards, our buildings shape us", is a quote by W. Churchill that illustrates the importance of the person - environment - well being relationship. Although there is no environmental determinism, our surrounding is an important factor in the way we feel and perform in build spaces. Environmental psychology developed numerous tools for analysing and evaluating these influences. Not all of these findings come to the attention of architects or designers or people in charge of public buildings (schools, health institutions, etc). The paper exposes some of the environmental psychology recommendations (importance of light, presence of nature) that can influence our behaviour and that we are usually not aware of. Apart from contemporary research there are some traditional arts that bring the spiritual dimension to the design of the built environment. The paper presents Chinese feng shui, as an example of design approach, which uses the manipulation of life force qi for a more supportive living environment. Finally the project of the Vital house is shown as an example of successful combination of contemporary and traditional approaches.
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