High Ceilings Help Creative Thinking

The height of your ceiling can either help or hinder creative thinking. According to Sally Augustin over at Psychology Today:

We’re more creative in spaces with higher ceilings.  All else being equal, people are more innovative in places with 10 foot ceilings than they are when the ceiling hovers 8 feet above the floor.

When the ceiling in a room we’re in is lower than about 9 feet, we start to feel crowded and want other people (except those we’re on really good terms with) to stay farther away from us.  If we feel crowded or cramped we get stressed and distracted from whatever we’re trying to accomplish.

It isn’t a case of “high = good, low = bad,” though. Spaces with low ceilings can be comfortable and inviting when we want to spend time with intimate friends.

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2 Responses to High Ceilings Help Creative Thinking

  1. drmarkparkinson says:

    Could explain the paint work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel! Then again, so it is said, Michelangelo spent years lying on his back only a couple of feet underneath it. Perhaps he got inspired on his way up the ladder!!

    • Roy Jacobsen says:

      Mark,
      When you look at so many places of worship, especially the cathedrals built during the Renaissance, you can’t help but wonder at the aspirational and inspirational spirit that those soaring spaces evoke. (And that was the intent of those soaring ceilings, after all.)

      Thanks for stopping by!

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