Posts Tagged ‘Maharishi Vastu Architecture’

New study shows a Maharishi Vastu designed office building increased the creativity of an architecture and engineering firm’s employees

October 22, 2019
2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, Developed and Managed by The Tower Companies, Rockville, MD. Credit: Ron Blunt

This is the first-of-its-kind study on the effects of a Maharishi Vastu designed office building on an architecture and engineering firm’s employee creativity. The company, NIKA, is a tenant in The Tower Companies, 2000 Tower Oaks Boulevard, MVA designed and LEED Platinum building in Rockville, Maryland, close to Washington, DC.

The study, published in Creativity Research Journal, was publicized by EurekAlert!, a service of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, (AAAS). PhysOrg, ScienceCodex, and Bioengineer, were some of the websites that posted the news.

Lead author, Maharishi University of Management Professor Anil Maheshwari, and co-author Margaret Rose Werd, collected more data on other variables, which will be presented in future papers for publication. It was all part of Mrs. Werd’s PhD thesis she is still working on. We thought it impressive that such an important journal would publish the first article on this topic before she even completed her doctorate! Here are the EurekAlert! Summary and press release.

A study published in Creativity Research Journal found creativity increased in an architecture and engineering firm’s employees after moving into a building designed according to Maharishi Vastu® architecture. They scored higher on Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking compared to scores four months earlier in their previous location. Verbal originality rose by 84%; figural originality, 48%; elaboration, 61%; and resistance to closure, 40%. There was less than a 1% possibility the result was due to chance.

Can the design of a building improve the creative output of its occupants?

New study published in Creativity Research Journal shows Maharishi Vastu architecture increased workplace creativity.

This graph maps the average number of unique, original ideas produced per respondent on y-axis, for two types of tasks against the two building architecture (Conventional vs Maharishi Vastu) on the x-axis. The first pair of bars show that the average number of unique, original ideas produced for a product enhancement task increased from 1.9 to 3.5 or about 84% upon move to Maharishi Vastu. The second set of bars similarly show that the average number of unique, original ideas for a graphical figure completion task increased from 3.56 to 5.27, or about 48% upon move to Maharishi Vastu.

A ground-breaking study published in the September issue of the scholarly Creativity Research Journal found increased creativity in employees who worked in a building designed according to Maharishi Vastu® architecture. In this first study of its kind, employees of an architecture and engineering firm, based in a major metropolitan city in the Eastern United States, moved into a Maharishi Vastu office building and scored higher on the standardized Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) compared to their score four months earlier in their previous location. In particular, they generated 50-80% more original ideas. The study found that there was less than a 1% possibility that the result was due to chance.

“This research experimentally demonstrated that moving from a conventional architecture building into a Vastu building led to large measurable improvements in employee creativity, in particular in the originality of the ideas generated and their open-ended and detailed elaboration,” said Professor Anil Maheshwari of Maharishi University of Management, the first author of this study. “I think every organization, big and small, could benefit from this.”

The study was conducted by Maharishi University of Management with participation from The Tower Companies and NIKA in Rockville, Maryland, a city located just outside of Washington, D.C. 2000 Tower Oaks is a Maharishi Vastu building developed by The Tower Companies in 2008 and was recognized as the largest application of Vedic design in the world. NIKA moved into the building as a new office tenant in 2017.

Architecture in harmony with nature

Maharishi Vastu is a traditional system of architecture that originated in India, and is known there also as vastu or sthapatya veda. Features of Maharishi Vastu include alignment with the cardinal directions; a silent central area called a brahmasthan; specific placement and proportions of rooms; appropriate slope and shape of the land; an unobstructed view of sunrise; a location that’s distant enough from major sources of electromagnetic radiation; and use of natural materials and solar energy. The researchers hypothesized that this architecture would have a wide range of benefits because it is said to be more in harmony with nature.

“It may seem unfamiliar to a Western, scientific perspective, but the fact is that our physiology is intimately tied to the material and rhythms and forces of the earth and sun,” Dr. Maheshwari said. “Traditional systems of architecture, which have arisen in many places around the world over a long span of time, take these things into account. And now we’re intent on seeing whether the supposed benefits can be scientifically verified.” Earlier exploratory studies have documented that specific elements of the Maharishi Vastu system can influence such markers as mental health and heart health.

Greater originality and depth of creativity

The Torrance Test of Creative Thinking (TTCT) includes three assessments of verbal creativity and five of figural creativity. The researchers hypothesized that Maharishi Vastu architecture would show improvement on all eight assessments. Since before-and-after tests can result in higher scores on the second test simply due to being familiar with the testing instrument, TTCT has two different but comparable versions to control for familiarity and learning. One version is used in the initial condition and the other different version is used after the variable/s has been applied. 32 employees took one version of the test in the conventional architecture location, and 22 employees took the second version of the test in Vastu location. Of these, 21 employees were common and took the tests at both locations.

The results of the verbal tests found a statistically significant (p<0.05) increase (84%) in originality (i.e. unique unconventional ideas generated) but not in fluency and flexibility. On the figural tests, which requires subjects to expand on a series of incomplete figures, the results showed a large statistically significant (p<0.01) increase in tests of originality (48%), elaboration (61%), and resistance to closure (40%) (that is, a focus on pursuing new directions to complete a task). Tests of figural fluency and abstract title (ability to name an abstract original concept) did not show an effect.

A boon for the world

NIKA, the architecture and engineering firm that participated in the study, was delighted with the results. “Creativity, especially the sort of figurative creativity measured by TTCT, is an important trait for an architect. The company was pleased to have this objective support for the feeling of greater creativity experienced by their employees,” said Mrs. Margaret Rose Werd, the co-author of this study. She further added that Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and his vision for world vastu for all mankind are the source of the inspiration for this research.

“Not many real estate developers deliver that kind of return on rent!” added Jeffrey Abramson, partner at The Tower Companies. Jon Lipman, AIA, director of Maharishi Vastu services for North America, said, “It appears that Maharishi Vastu architecture can help to solve major challenges that face our cities. I recommend it to developers who aspire to create buildings that promote creativity and the flourishing of life and business.”

This research was the first longitudinal empirical study using standardized measures of creativity to look at the effect of buildings on employee performance in an organization. Data from more organizations would help to validate the results across multiple industries and locations. This research study can be accessed at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10400419.2019.1667943

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The Tower Companies also listed the press release and case study on their website, and shared the news via their social media platforms.

Enjoy TM News, THE TRANSCENDENTAL MEDITATION® MAGAZINE, featured the study in their ISSUE 40 • NOVEMBER 2, 2019: Can the Right Architecture Make Us More Creative? New research on Maharishi Vastu architecture shows greater creativity and originality.

@MaharishiU Sustainable Living students build adobe house from scratch in Texas desert

December 19, 2013

MUM Students Build Adobe House From Natural Desert Materials

Maharishi University’s Sustainable Living students study natural building and travel to the Texas desert to put up a 14′ x 14′ adobe bunkhouse made primarily from indigenous materials mum.edu/AdobeHousePR

MUM students build adobe house from scratch in Texas desert

MUM students build adobe house from scratch in Texas desert

As a continuation of the Sustainable Living Program at Maharishi University of Management where students learn how to build a tiny house, a group of 12 students traveled to the Texas desert during their October Natural Building class and spent 11 days putting up a 14 x 14 adobe house made primarily from local materials.

They first made 850 adobe bricks from soil near the construction site, created a frame of posts and beams from dead spruce trees harvested beforehand on campus, and then topped the structure with a waterproof thatched roof made of river cane.

“It really has an amazing feel,” said course instructor Mark Stimson. “It’s rectilinear and oriented toward the cardinal directions, and adobe walls give it an ancient, grounded feeling.”

Intended to serve as a bunkhouse for future visitors, it sits on land owned by Mr. Stimson and his wife that’s adjacent to Big Bend National Park. Also on site is a tiny house students built last year.

In addition to learning practical construction skills, the students had the opportunity to experience an extraordinary landscape that includes deep vertical canyons, distant mountains, and rock-outcroppings dating back 500 million years, fossils, petrified wood, and a hot spring on the Rio Grande River. Plus the occasional tarantula and scorpion.

“The students had a transformative experience,” Mr. Stimson said. “They’ve never seen anything like this desert, with its vast scale. The heights and distances reset your perspective on things.”

Mr. Stimson’s desert site is 80 miles from the nearest town on a road too rugged for ordinary cars. The students prepared and canned all their food in advance. That alone was a learning exercise in planning and execution.

They traveled to the site via the Sustainable Living Department bus powered by biodiesel fuel that was made by the students and staff member Steve Fugate.

Every aspect of the construction required learning new skills. The students began their work on campus, creating a plan and estimating the amount of materials they would need.

Once on site, the students learned to sift the soil used for the bricks, moisten it with water, and then use forms to create the bricks. Once skilled, they were able to make a brick in less than a minute.

But then the bricks, all 17,000 lbs. of them, had to be carried up a long hill. The students formed a chain, and accomplished the task with aplomb.

“The students were confronted with many challenges in this remote desert region,” said Stimson, “but in the process they learned a lot about teamwork, leadership, self-sufficiency, and how to be flexible in the changing conditions they encountered.”

He related an incident of the students trying to prepare and dry adobe bricks, when an early morning desert fog prevented the sun from drying them out. It happened three or four days in a row. Of the many things they planned for, he said, the desert wasn’t one of them! But the sun burned it off by noon each day, and the adobe blocks dried enough to be used.

In order to comply with Maharishi Vedic℠ architecture, they learned how to perfectly align the building by using the North Star and the meridian transit off the sun.

“It’s within a quarter or even one-eighth of a degree of being perfectly aligned,” Mr. Stimson said.

He said his desert site is intended to serve as a retreat for campus groups and students in other departments, as well as the Sustainable Living students.

MUM students complete adobe house from scratch in Texas desert

MUM students complete adobe house from scratch in Texas desert

Commenting on the success of this course and the happiness of the students who participated in it, Professor Lonnie Gamble, Co-Director of the Sustainable Living Department said, “They’re happy because they’re taking their part in creating the world that they want to live in. I think it brings out a great joy, a great satisfaction, something that many of them have been looking for at other institutions before they’ve come here.” http://link.mum.edu/AdobeHouse

Part of this report was taken from The Review, Vol. 29, #6, November 27, 2013. For more information visit http://link.mum.edu/AdobeHousePR.

Read the description under this video posted on the MaharishiUniversity YouTube channel with more details describing how the students prepared for their trip, built their tools when they got there, gathered and processed the local materials to construct the adobe house.

Founded in 1971, Maharishi University of Management (MUM) offers Consciousness-Based℠ Education, a traditional academic curriculum enhanced with self-development programs like the Transcendental Meditation® technique. Students are encouraged to follow a more sustainable routine of study, socializing and rest without the typical college burnout. All aspects of campus life nourish the body and mind, including organic vegetarian meals served fresh daily. Located in Fairfield, Iowa, MUM is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, humanities, and business. Visitors Weekends are held throughout the year. For more information, call the Admissions Office at 800-369-6480 or visit http://www.mum.edu.

Source: PRWeb: http://www.prweb.com/releases/MUM-SL/AdobeHouse/prweb11363060.htm

The Age features Transcendental Meditation and the Maharishi School in national education article

October 22, 2012

Australia’s The Age features Transcendental Meditation and the Maharishi School in a national education article written by Denise Ryan: School puts stress on staying calm: Meditation techniques embraced by the Beatles are helping students in Reservoir. October 22, 2012. (I added links.)

Students practise Transcendental Meditation at the Maharishi School in Reservoir. Photo: Eddie Jim

MOST children wouldn’t describe their primary school as “peaceful” or all their teachers and classmates as “kind”. But that’s how Bridgette Nicolosi views her new school.

The year 4 student says she used to feel “confused” in her former mathematics class, but since she has learnt Transcendental Meditation at the Maharishi School in Reservoir, she is no longer as “scared” of maths as she was. She also feels more accepted and included.

Isabelle Coates, the year 6 captain, is not surprised. She has compared how “calm and happy” she feels with the state of mind of friends at other schools. “I seem to be more relaxed,” she says. “I think if I didn’t meditate I would be more stressed.”

Fellow year 6 student Supreeya Bullock says meditation has helped her with schoolwork and in playing sport. Perrin Broszczyk says it has helped him relax and has improved his tennis.

These students are making big claims but their positive experiences from two 10-minute Transcendental Meditation sessions each day is backed by a wealth of international research.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Photo: Trevor Dallen

Transcendental Meditation was developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and was first taught in India in the 1950s. Pop group the Beatles extolled its virtues, writing almost 50 songs while studying with Maharishi at his ashram in the foothills of the Himalayas in the late 1960s. Hollywood stars Mia Farrow and Shirley MacLaine also took it up. It is practised by millions world-wide, despite Maharishi’s death in 2008.

Some might regard the practice as New Age or bohemian but it has become mainstream, particularly in the US where it is used in some hospitals to help chronically or terminally ill patients manage their stress.

Principal Frances Clarke
Photo: Eddie Jim

Maharishi School founder and principal Frances Clarke says meditating in silence has profound results. Since the 1970s hundreds of research studies on Transcendental Meditation have been undertaken at more than 200 universities and research institutes across many countries.

These studies report benefits such as increased creativity, intelligence and learning ability, higher levels of brain function, improved memory and school behaviour. Studies have reported an increased sense of calm, decreased anxiety and reduced conflict.

When Ms Clarke founded this independent school with like-minded families in Bundoora in 1997, it had 20 students. The school gained a following since moving to Reservoir, drawing families from local suburbs such as Northcote. It now has 80 students, rising to 100 next year.

The school teaches the standard curriculum but adds a subject called Science of Creative Intelligence, and also the meditation sessions. In the extra class, students might do maths as part of learning such principles as that every action has a reaction.

An ancient system of architecture and design known as Maharishi Vedic principles have been included in two new buildings. For example, they are entered from the east, capturing early morning sun. The principles are different but are along the lines of Feng Shui, in that they seek to maximise health and success.

Ms Clarke first learnt to meditate at age 22. She found it helpful to deal with stress when she became a secondary school teacher. When she heard that the Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in Iowa was getting outstanding results, she decided to visit.

The Iowa school is open entry yet it continues to record some of the top academic results in the state and its students regularly win awards for sports, science, art and problem-solving competitions. TV star Oprah Winfrey has highlighted the school’s results on her program.

Some US schools that deal specifically with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder have adopted Transcendental Meditation techniques after also witnessing its success at a Detroit Middle School.

A Maharishi School in Lancashire, England, has performed in the top 2.5 per cent of schools for 25 years, despite also being open entry. As a result, the education department has fully funded it. Other Maharishi Schools are being established there too.

Ms Clarke’s husband Larry, who has also taught Transcendental Meditation for many years, says it has a following in the US, Europe, South America and Thailand but has been slower to take off in Australia, despite the established benefits.

“It’s a bit of a sleepy hollow here, yet 6 million people have been trained world-wide.”

Transcendental Meditation differs from some other forms of meditation in that it allows the mind to effortlessly “transcend thought”.

“It does not require contemplation or concentration,” says Dr Clarke. He regards concentrating on breathing or an object, such as a candle flame, as an arduous practice where the mind is still active.

“In TM the mind becomes quieter and quieter until it is doing absolutely nothing. TM uses the natural tendency for the mind to move towards something more interesting or charming. It moves into subtler and subtler states until thought dissolves into silent wakefulness, or pure consciousness.”

Ms Clark says meditation helps children find their passion. “Around years 3 or 4 they discover what they love, and go for it.”

She says this is because children can concentrate. “Some schools spend all their time doing English and mathematics but our students focus so well they have time for everything else.”

The small scale also helps. “Students don’t get lost. Everyone has the opportunity to have a go at everything, whether it be a science or drama competition or to be in the school concert.”

Parents pay $1300 each term to send their children to this alternative school. At least one parent must practise or learn Transcendental Meditation also. The school offers a four-day course for parents. On weekends children meditate with their parents.

Students up to the age of 10 meditate with eyes open, walking about. Older children are seated in comfortable spots in the classroom. Ten-minute sessions are held about 9.30am and 3pm each day, which means students head home in a calm state. “But they don’t want to go home,” Ms Clark says. “It’s a small community and parents and students love to hang around after school.”

Teacher Samantha Russell loves the strong relationship between staff and parents. “I feel really sorry for my friends in other schools who don’t see the parents and don’t have the same objectives as them.”

She says parents talk to her about their experiences of meditating and it makes for a closer bond.

Students sometimes get a shock when they move from this environment to high school.

“They often express surprise that other students don’t want to learn and spend a lot of time mucking around,” says Ms Clarke.

She sees the government’s recent pressure on teachers to improve what they do as misplaced. “Transcendental Meditation develops the consciousness of the student so they are much more capable of learning. You can’t teach a class if children aren’t awake, alert or aware.”

Article URLs: http://bit.ly/TBUgpw and updated http://bit.ly/RqwoWW.

Earlier this year the Maharishi School was featured on Australian TV: Cool School: Melbourne school teaches meditation to students.

URLs for Maharishi School: http://www.maharishischool.vic.edu.au and TM in Australia: http://tm.org.au

Here is an image of the layout in Monday’s Age in Melbourne, Australia. Will replace it with a better resolution when available. (more…)


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