What is Design Harmony and Why Should Designers Care? with Michelle Castagna and Mike Peterson

Episode #122 the Wingnut Social Podcast

Michelle Castagna is the owner and president of Muse Design Studio. She boasts over 20 years of experience in the design industry. She wants to encourage designers to embrace design harmony and help their clients experience a healthier & stress-free home. 

Mike Peterson is the founder and president of Visionary Design Marketing. He specializes in strategic marketing consultations for the design industry. In this episode, he shares some valuable insight into what the medical field is saying about design harmony and how to market your experience in the field.

What You’ll Hear On This Episode of Wingnut Social

  • [1:32] Darla and Natalie are speaking at High Point Market!
  • [5:55] Upcoming certification in design harmony
  • [7:02] A simple definition of design harmony
  • [8:42] The Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku
  • [9:45] Use home technology to execute a healthier environment
  • [13:07] The awareness of design harmony in residential/commercial design
  • [14:54] How a designer can market this approach in their business
  • [17:47] What will the certification process look like?
  • [22:08] The goal is to make the certification affordable for everyone to embrace
  • [25:42] The medical industry is acknowledging something that we aren’t
  • [26:51] What up Wingnut! Round
  • [34:45] Blooper Reel!

Connect with Michelle Castagna

Connect with Mike Peterson

Resources & People Mentioned

What is design harmony? Why should designers embrace it? 

Design harmony is simple—it’s about encompassing harmonious environments. It resonates with things in nature. Michelle points out that we are hamsters on a wheel that never get off the wheel anymore. We are surrounded by the stressors of life and work. Incorporating design harmony in the home and bringing the outdoors in can give you that breath of fresh air and a reprieve from the drudgery of office living. 

Design harmony encompasses many spokes—biophilic design, chromatherapy, home technology to execute a healthier environment, and controlling light and sound as well. Japanese have been embracing “Shinrin Yoku” or “Forest Bathing” for over 30 years. It’s the practice of immersing oneself in nature to feel better and be healthier. Now Canada, the UK, and even the US are embracing the practice. That is what design harmony seeks to do on a more intimate and personal scale in your own home.

Design harmony is about enhancing the human condition 

Mike pointed out residential and commercial designers aren’t just “providing aesthetics, they’re providing a healthier environment”. He cited studies that are showing that the right design can even lower your blood pressure. The medical industry is acknowledging something that designers haven’t embraced yet—that architects and designers have a greater ability to improve health than doctors. 

Mike and Michelle want to increase awareness of design harmony in the design field. That’s why the upcoming IFDA certification process for design harmony will be inclusive and affordable. Michelle notes that the end goal is to treat “design as a way to prevent illnesses by encouraging stress-free, happy and creative environments that allow us as humans to flourish”.

To hear all of the details about what the IFDA certification process will look like and how you can implement design harmony into your repertoire, listen to the whole episode! 

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