Meet Our Speaker

Donald H. Ruggles
Donald H. Ruggles

AIA, NCARB, ICAA, ANFA, Author, Speaker,
Documentry Producer

Twelve years ago, Don set out to research beauty as a vital component of architecture. Through his research, Don learned that beauty is related to a pleasure response in the brain and is deeply beneficial to our health and wellbeing through the creation of patterns, spaces, and scenes that promote homeostasis between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system is responsible for the human stress response to potential danger while the parasympathetic nervous system counterbalances stress with physiological changes that restore calm to the body. Don has found application for his research in the balancing of environmental cues, creating architecture and interiors that balance calm, ordered and understandable cues with fascination, awe and novel inputs. This careful balance results in built environments that foster health and wellbeing through brainwave coherence, similar to the proven effects of meditation. 

A new, urgent effort is needed to refocus the direction of design to include the quality of beauty as a fundamental, overarching theme in two of man’s most important fields — the built and artistic environments. This film is predicated on Don’s first book, Beauty, Neuroscience & Architecture: Timeless Patterns & Their Impact on Our Well-Being,” which investigates how timeless forms and patterns in architecture and design affect our health and well-being.

“There is a deep-seated need for beauty and when that need is filled, a sense of safety and comfort is created.” — Donald H. Ruggles, AIA

Donald H. Ruggles, AIA, NCARB, ICAA, ANFA, is president of Ruggles Mabe Studio, a boutique architecture and interior design firm based in Colorado. Founded in 1970, the firm is dedicated to the idea that beauty can improve the lives of its clients. 


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