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Restaurant Architectural Design Makes for Healthy Eating

By Maria Lorena Lehman — Get more articles like this sent to your email HERE.

Image Credit: © Serghei Starus | Dreamstime

An article “To Tame the Belly, Mange the Brain” in The Boston Globe (November 19th, 2008) by Carolyn Y. Johnson discusses how eating is “as much about the brain as it is about the stomach”.  Given this, doesn’t it make you wonder about the importance of restaurant or your home’s dining room design? Since the act of eating is more than just about the flavor of the food — lighting, color scheme and air circulation all play a role in how your body ultimately intakes food.

If air circulation impacts food aroma or lighting impacts how appetizing the food looks, wouldn’t you conclude that architectural design plays a part in “marketing” the chef’s entrée to your body? If the food is perceived as being delicious, then your body will actually do a better job with digestion. As architectural design provides for a mouthwatering experience, the meal will not only taste better but will be digested better physiologically. 

Taste is only one part of how and why your body intakes food. Your brain, and therefore your other senses, also impact how well a food is digested. So, can good architectural restaurant design positively impact how patrons digest food, beyond its taste? If eating involves the brain (which it does) then the architectural surroundings are ultimately also important for healthy eating.

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Maria: I came across your website through a reference in today's Architect Weekly ezine and am delighted I did. I'll bookmark your site and check back often. I read the first article and then the second and thirty minutes later realized how much time had passed. I've been practicing for thirty years and have always missed the stimulation of academia. I find each of your brief dissertations sort of like a day in design studio. Thanks for the inspiration.

Ron Ward
AI Group Design
I am excited to see you touch a vein of values in architecture, I have been chasing myself for years. Your depth of involvement in these very deep subjects is really beautiful and passionately dealt with and well written. Sound, color and value, shape, texture, scale, smell.... all definitive measures of the spaces we should be alert to. [...] I will savor the rest of your investigation of sensuality in architecture. I'm Glad I found you.

Dennis McLaughlin
McLaughlin Architect
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Maria Lorena Lehman is a multi award-winning visionary author, designer, and educator from the United States. Maria holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honors from Virginia Tech and a Master in Design with Distinction from Harvard University Graduate School of Design. CLICK HERE to learn more.

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