Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: 5 Powerful Steps for Purposeful Design

maslow's hierarchy of needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

“We shape our building; thereafter, they shape us”, as Winston Churchill once wisely stated. Our physical spaces are nothing but reflections of our activities to function the task better. As physical spaces are an integral part of our lifestyle, it is essential to create spaces that meet our basic needs and address psychological needs, functionality, etc. To understand Human psychological needs, one needs to understand Abraham Maslow’s theory of “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.”

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a pyramid in which Maslow discusses various needs, from essential to psychological. On the lower level of the pyramid, basic human needs such as food, clothing, and shelter are arranged as an individual satisfies the lower level; they move to fulfil another level.

Combining Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with housing features can lead to designing more purposeful spaces, making it easy to satisfy the primary human needs to fulfil human psychological needs.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with Housing features

Basic Needs

The primary human needs stand at the bottom of Abraham Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs. This suggests meeting the basic human needs: food, clothing and shelter. A house that makes things function better, such as a well-designed house, which feels like a home with a kitchen to prepare healthy food, a bathroom to maintain hygiene, and private rooms for rest, comfort, and privacy.

Safety and Security

The sense of safety is a perception of danger. This need is above the essential requirement, which can be addressed by providing trustworthy locking systems, alarms, CCTV surveillance, security guarding, and constructing a building resistant to natural disasters such as earthquakes.

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Social Life and Belongingness

As the basic needs are satisfied and a sense of security is achieved psychologically, it becomes easy for a human to achieve good social relationship, which ranges from personal relationships that are family and friends which offers caring and support to a romantic relationship that features trust, acceptance, and growth to social relationships are neighbourhood and interactions with social communities.

To perceive these psychological needs, spaces that encourage social interaction and gathering community centres, event halls, and recreational areas should be designed. Usage of these can also lead to unity.


After fulfilling the basic psychological needs, the journey of self-actualization becomes easy. To attain self-actualization, one needs to know one’s inner strengths and weaknesses. Self-esteem is confidence and achievement. It is a desire for respect, recognition and accomplishment.

As one moves toward the top of the pyramid, materialistic needs decrease. Thus, boundaries are blurred. But to make this self-esteem attainment more fruitful, community workshops and offices with suitable working environments can be designed.


At the top of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, we need to reach our full potential, where someone goes to their full potential, and fears are overcome. Where an individual strives to realize their full potential and achieve personal fulfilment. Nurture the journey of self-actualization by designing a space for meditation, etc.

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Expanding on the 5 Powerful Steps to Fulfillment

Now that we’ve delved into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs let’s explore how you can apply these concepts to your own life, whether it’s in the design of your personal living space or in your approach to personal growth and fulfillment.

  • Step 1 – Assess Your Basic Needs: Start by evaluating your basic needs – do you have access to healthy food, clean clothing, and a safe shelter? If not, focus on improving these aspects of your life. A well-organized kitchen, a comfortable bedroom, and a functional bathroom are fundamental to satisfying these requirements.
  • Step 2 – Enhance Your Safety and Security: Beyond the essentials, security and safety are paramount. Invest in reliable locks, alarms, and disaster-resistant construction to create a secure environment. Feeling safe in your space is a critical step in reaching higher levels of fulfilment.
  • Step 3 – Foster Social Connections: Once your basic needs and safety are met, shift your attention to social connections. Cultivate personal relationships with family and friends. These relationships offer the care and support necessary for psychological well-being. Create spaces in your home that encourage social interaction, like a cozy living room or a welcoming backyard, and engage in community events to build meaningful connections outside your home.

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  • Step 4 – Boost Self-Esteem: To ascend the hierarchy, develop self-esteem. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, seek respect, and pursue achievements. Consider setting up a dedicated workspace or attending workshops that nurture your personal growth and confidence.
  • Step 5 – Strive for Self-Actualization: Finally, aim for self-actualization. This is where you unlock your full potential and work to overcome fears and limitations. Create a space for reflection and meditation, aiding your self-discovery and personal fulfilment.

Also Read: Amogh Lila Prabhu Age and 4 Little-Known Facts

Your Journey to Fulfillment

By understanding Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, one can track their growth by simplifying the fundamental and psychological needs. An individual can make rational decisions while uniting these together; simplified designs can help to start the journey of self-actualization.

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