Office Architecture: Ceiling height

A recent Science Daily article gives us a brief overview of a paper to be published in the August issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. The paper suggests that the higher a ceiling, the more abstract a person thinks. The lower a ceiling, the more specific a person thinks. From Science Daily:

    “For years contractors, real estate agents and event planners have said that whether building, buying or planning an event, a higher or vaulted ceiling is always better. Are they right? Until now there has been no real evidence that ceiling height has any influence or advantage with consumers. But recent research by Joan Meyers-Levy, a professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, suggests that the way people think and act is affected by ceiling height.”

I wonder if a similar study has been done about windows in office space; I’m assuming so (although a quick search of Google isn’t turning anything up). I know how isolated I feel, how closed in, working eight hours a day in an office without a window. Sometimes I wonder how I survive not being able to gaze out the window; in college, some of my best thinking occurred as I looked out of my 9th floor dorm room window.

I miss that, and wonder what I’m missing out on not having a similar reflective, introspective opportunity now.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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