Interior design psychologist, Uwe Linke gives his views on fabrics, spaces and feelings
“In just the same way that you can deduce someone’s character quite clearly from their furnishings, it is possible to turn this on its head and create furnishings to suit a character,” explains Uwe Linke, the interior design psychologist.
A qualified fashion designer and son of an interior architect, he had his own successful furnishing company for many years and trained at the same time as an interior design coach and process consultant. Since then, he has used his special expertise in fabrics and interior design, as well as of the experience and behaviour of his fellow man, to match furnishing concepts to the real needs of individuals or even whole target groups.
Since the publication of his book, “Die Psychologie des Wohnens” (The Psychology of Interior Design), Linke has been getting numerous enquiries from furnishings experts as well as professional designers. He creates colour, light, textile and design concepts either for them or in cooperation with them.
“In the overall effect, textiles in particular have a huge impact on people and spaces,” says Linke and explains: “There is in fact a psychological element present just in textiles. With smooth, synthetic or even relatively fluffy materials one gets a message of approachability for example. Cool can be very chic but in our living rooms, we are emotionally tied to values such as security and trust. These values are embodied by textiles more than any other design feature.”
Unlike the private sphere, in places like hotels, restaurants and shops, however, what goes on involves whole groups of people. Thus the approach is quite different. The questions that arise right from the beginning are these: “Who are the customers that the concept is supposed to reach? What are the needs of the target group? What is the vision behind the project?”
“This means that the human element also consistently plays a vital role,” says Linke. Authenticity is an important key word here. Trends on the other hand play a rather secondary role. “The psychology of interior design is not based on trends,” explains Linke. He believes that whilst, of course, people may follow trends, it would nevertheless be better for them to turn their own brand into a trend with a distinctive individual style.
Whatever the project – be it a hotel, restaurant or shop – a holistic, integrated approach is crucial. So Linke also coaches people in appearance and behaviour and elucidates: “Design accounts for a maximum of a third of the attractiveness of a location, whatever the sector. The design is just an entry point, a door opener. There must be some substance to follow.”
Further information on the topic can be found at: www.wohnpsychologie.com
Photo 1 and 2 © Uwe Linke