Maharishi Vedic Architecture and Quality of Life: An International Mixed Methods Study of Lived Experience

Document Type: Original Paper

Authors

1 Professor of Vedic Science, Education and the Environment, Maharishi Vedic Research Institute, Gold Coast, Australia

2 Director, Center for Social-Emotional Health and Consciousness, Fairfield, Iowa, USA

3 Professor of Vedic Science, Art and Vedic Architecture, Maharishi Vedic Research Institute, Gold Coast, Australia

Abstract

 
 The histories of architectural design and town planning are replete with references to creating a better quality of human life. One of the approaches to enhancing human existence is Vāstu Vidyā, the knowledge of design and building from the ancient Vedic tradition. More recently, Vāstu Vidyā has been repurposed to include not only architectural practice and construction but also considered in light of the consciousness of the designer and builder and the need for a more ‘enlightened’ approach to design. Such a consideration is called Maharishi Vedic Architecture (MVA). Some of the features of MVA include a concern for orientation of the building to cardinal east, the position and proportion of rooms within the dwelling, and considerations of slope and relation to the early morning sun. Such features are said to enhance the creativity, health, and happiness of occupants.
 The purpose of the present study is to explore the experiences of individuals who reside in homes designed according to the principles of MVA. Triangulated quantitative and qualitative results from an international mixed-methods survey of 158 individuals in 14 countries indicate this approach to architectural design contributes to individual and family quality of life, specifically as it has been operationalized to mean changes in well-being, health, personal development, and success. On a quality-of-life scale, the study found a statistically significant difference between those living in MVA for more than three years compared to those living in MVA for less than three years (F = 1.89, p = .02), however no difference was observed between experiences for people living in different locations.
 

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