Innovative Spaces: Brain Performance Institute Derives Design Inspiration from Human Brain Itself

INNOVATIVE SPACES | The Brain Performance Institute building is meant to pay homage to the human brain, making it a fitting place to maximize the human brain’s potential or help military veterans and others with traumatic brain injuries.

brain performance

The Brain Performance Institute is designed like a brain, providing spaces devoted to increasing brain performance, enhancing brain resilience, and promoting brain regeneration.

A part of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas, the new 62,000-square-foot building housing the institute is at 2200 Mockingbird Lane near Dallas Love Field. It officially opens to the public on Thursday.

INNOVATIVE SPACES 
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The institute features programs and spaces to help everyone from veterans dealing with traumatic brain injuries to middle school students seeking to maximize their brain performance in the Adolescent Reasoning Initiative.

Executive Director Leanne Young said the institute has programs that can aid people at all stages of their lives and those affected by a variety of conditions.

“This isn’t just about preventing dementia, although it’s important to so many. It’s about improving brain performance and health in everyone right now,” she said.

Everything about the building is aimed at promoting brain health. Inspiration for its design is drawn from the anatomy of the human brain itself. The elliptical central core of the building pays homage the brain’s oval shape, and the exterior’s sunshade of metal fins was inspired by the rhythmic pattern of an EEG strip.

The design also was inspired by the brain’s frontal lobes, which are responsible for higher-order thinking. Abundant natural lighting promotes the body’s creation of serotonin, for example, which is important for brain health.

“The institute will help young people focus in school, retrain the minds of those affected by military experiences or sports injuries, strengthen mental acuity among corporate leadership, and empower each and every one of us to take charge of our own brains so that we can have healthier, stronger, more energetic brains today and in the future,” Young said. 

In advance of the public opening, Young gave Dallas Innovates a look inside the new space. .

Photos by Lance Murray.

A GRAND ENTRY

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Brain Performance Institute Executive Director Leanne Young.

The staircase leading to the second and third floors of the Brain Performance Institute creates an artistic diagonal flow as it ascends from the atrium and its seating areas.

The staircase leading to the second and third floors of the institute creates an artistic diagonal flow as it ascends from the atrium.

brain performance

Exterior lighting filters its way into the atrium, creating relaxing areas for visitors and staff to sit.

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Staff members enjoy conversation and food in the atrium.

The seating area in the atrium offers a pleasant place for visitors and staff to eat or visit.

Meeting rooms are available on the second and third floors, overlooking the building’s atrium area.

Receptionist Ashley Wilson sits in the atrium, illuminated by sunlight streaming through blinds on the curved walls of the atrium..

THE BALDRIDGE TRAINING ROOM

The Baldridge Training Room has wood floors to accommodate such activities as mindfulness and yoga classes.

Brain Performance Institute Executive Director Leanne Young stands in a 6-foot-by-12-foot gathering area outside the Baldridge Training Room created by a company called Flight Series Tiles that reclaims aluminum from aircraft graveyards in Arizona and transforms it into tiles. The material creates a visual connection with military veterans.

THE WARRIOR WING

Clinician Letty Owuor organizes materials in the Warrior Wing.

The “Warrior Suite” was made specifically for work with military veterans and others with traumatic brain injuries. Its paneled walls and lower ceilings create a more protected feeling. The three-sided room allows for looking out — never to the door — with diffused lighting and special furniture with high neck support to ensure clients feel secure.

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A training room in the Warrior Wing is ready for an auditorium-style session.

A training room is equipped with video screens.

THE ADOLESCENT REASONING INITIATIVE

 

Clinician Aimee Herron prepares a virtual reality world for a session with a middle school student. The Adolescent Reasoning Initiative helps teachers train their students to maximize their brain performance through depth of processing, creativity, and innovative problem solving. State funding and private philanthropy has allowed for more than 50,000 students throughout Texas and four additional states to receive the training.

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Clinician Aimee Herron creates a virtual environment in which she can interact with a young client.

 

VIRTUAL REALITY

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Lead Artist Aaron Tate maps his facial features for use with a virtual reality character as Director of Technology Lara Ashmore looks on.

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Tate maps his facial features for use with a virtual reality character as Ashmore looks on.

Tate maps his facial features for use with a virtual reality character.

Ashmore points to a virtual reality character opening its mouth in response to Tate opening his own mouth.

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Tate uses an Oculus Rift VR headset to enter a virtual room being shown on the screens behind him.

 

LIGHTING UP THE MIND

The is one of two glass neurons created by artist David Gappa that ignited across an artistically rendered glass synapse which was used in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building.

Illuminated glass brain synapses light up the ceiling in the first-floor meeting room at the institute. Blinds give the room a soothing, soft glow from the sunlight.

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Illuminated glass brain synapses light up the ceiling in the first-floor meeting room.

Illuminated glass brain synapses light up the ceiling in the first-floor meeting room.

 

DESIGNED LIKE A BRAIN

The Brain Performance Institute at 2200 Mockingbird Lane near Dallas Love Field is part of the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas.

brain performance

An exterior look at the new institute.

brain performance

The 62,000-square-foot building officially opens to the public Thursday.

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