(See my previous posting about the Mid-Century Modern home tour this weekend. Link is here.)
I stumbled on this piece from Fast Company about how surroundings shape our minds and bodies. Among its interesting tidbits: People instinctively prefer objects with rounded edges (think of arches, for instance) over sharp-edged objects (think of most 20th-century buildings, such as the Westin hotel in Charlotte, shown above, with the NASCAR Hall of Fame in the foreground). The theory is that it has to do with hard-wired fear of sharp objects.
Memo to architects designing libraries: High-ceilings in rooms encourage you to think more freely and abstractly.
And memo to minimalists: Clutter increases the "memorability" of a place. As the article says, "A generous scattering of objects generates a fondness for the place." (But I'm pretty sure that doesn't include dirty socks or last night's grease-splotched pizza box.)