Category Archives: Interesting Ideas

“Restorative Applications”

Earlier today, @BuddhistGeeks tweeted a link to a TechCrunch article called “Lessons from Monks about Designing the Technologies of the Future“. The article, by Klint Finley, is based on a book, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang’s about-to-be-released The Distraction Addiction: Getting the Information You Need and the Communication You Want, Without Enraging Your Family, Annoying Your Colleagues, and Destroying Your Soul.

I haven’t read the book. (Yet.) But I was struck by (Finley’s description of) Pang’s concept of “restorative spaces”, spaces that people tend to use to cope with urban environments. According to Finley, Pang says these spaces tend to do four things (and I’m quoting Finley’s bullet points, typos and all):

  • Be purposefully simple. Though “Simple doesn’t necessarily mean ‘stark’ or ‘blank,’” Pang warns.
  • Contain contrasts, such as elements that shift from small to large or light to dark.
  • Give a sense of “being away” Temples don’t tend to have outside facing windows, and urban parks tend to conceal the cities that surround them.
  • Not be completely wild or untamed Natural settings are good, but too much nature can be stressful.

Finley suggests that computer applications might be developed with these principles in mind.

Fascinating idea.