The possibility, given by the Pratic projects, of living open spaces in a new way brings benefits also to the psychophysical well-being of the individual, an aspect that as a company oriented to Open Air Culture we study and deepen with annual neuro-scientific studies: Healthy Lighting 2018, which explores the effects of light on the human brain and lifestyles; Lively colours 2019, dedicated to the neurological perception of colour and therefore the design potential that can descend from it; and Design for Wellbeing 2020, which explores the perceptions of the brain in relation to architectural spaces.
The Neuro-scientific researches were developed in collaboration with the IULM University of Milan and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and Pratic decided to share these works with experts in the field and beyond, with the aim of creating a true open-air culture.
With Design for Well-being we finally enter the essential world of shapes, volumes and proportions observed from the perspective that has been stored in our memories for centuries. The study bases on the fact that the human brain consists of a right and left hemisphere, each tasked with different functions. It’s a car with two separate motors, one to save energy and one to make use of it if the other breaks down.
The man’s history shows that the balance between the two hemispheres of the brain is not at all obvious. The surprising conclusion of the study is that the human brain has always preferred outdoor structures because nothing as outdoor structures are able to balance the right and left hemispheres of the human brain.
Many tests show that only outdoor architecture and open-air culture are able to bring together what seems beautiful-liking (the right hemisphere of the brain where the holistic vision of the landscape, geometric modularity, spatial orientation are located) and what seems functional and reassuring- wanting (left hemisphere of the brain where focal vision and close functional perception reside). A pergola offers exactly opening and protection, spatial geometry and the ability to move freely from the indoors to the outdoors: in evolutionary terms, survival in other words, allowing the individual to see in the distance, hide, identify threats and possibly decide to approach or not. Man does not change, and architecture resembles him more and more.
Design for Wellbeing research project available here:
Healthy Lighting shows that our modern lifestyle gradually desynchronises this rhythm, causing not just a reduction in the release of melatonin and a delay in the onset of sleep, but also a chronic lack of vitamin D.
What clearly emerges is people’s need to rediscover an outdoor life with more natural light – but also a correct use of the dark. The importance of light and how it regulates circadian rhythms was recognised in 2017 when the Nobel prize for Medicine was awarded to Michael Rosbash, Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael W. Young for their research on our “internal biological clock” and how human beings benefit from life in the open air. Healthy Lighting research project available here:
Working with the same academic partners, the company published a second neuroscience research paper in 2019, entitled Lively Colours: the semiosis of colour, looking at the role of colour in daily life and in neurocognitive processes. The work takes into account 40 of the most recent international studies on the subject, concerning issues affecting the interests of society as a whole. The results are surprising, as indeed is the perception of colour, which is the result of an extremely complex process, refined by the brain over thousands of years. Lively Colours is available here:
Pratic, a supreme expression of Italian creativity, was founded in Ceresetto, a town in the rolling hills of Italy’s north eastern province of Udine in 1960.
The principle of excellence is also expressed at Pratic’s headquarters – an internationally celebrated example of industrial architecture that has won major design awards.
One of Pratic’s distinctive features is undoubtedly its ability to meaningfully engage with the principles of architecture.
In 2018 Pratic created a cutting-edge coating facility, giving the market the opportunity to create outdoor furnishing projects of any size and in any colour.