Itai is a practicing architect and researcher focusing on designing with the human experience in mind. Much of his work is dedicated to bridging the fields of architecture and neuroscience by developing methods for the practical adoption of new scientific knowledge into the design process. He is Director of Hume, a science-informed architecture and urban design practice backed by research at its Human Metrics Lab. In 2015, Itai founded the Conscious Cities movement; a new field of research and practice for building people-centered environments with a particular focus on using behavioral and cognitive science in design. A fellow at The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health, and at the Urban Design Forum, Itai also is involved with bodies such as Harvard, Brookings Institution, and Urban Thinkscape. Itai was a recipient of a 2016 ANFA Harold Hay Grant for a proof-of-concept study entitled “Curiosity as a Design Tool.” This research was conducted at The Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Centre at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.
A significant part of the Conscious Cities movement builds on the foundations that ANFA set in bringing together the fields of architecture and neuroscience. Through its efforts, the movement gives a platform to those working at this intersection and brings new people into the discourse. We also actively work towards bridging the gap in communication so that scientists and architects can have more productive collaborations with real-world implications. One such effort is through Conscious Cities publications that appeal to both the science and design communities. We are interested in new knowledge emerging in the ANFA community, and ways that we can support it and expose its value to built environment practitioners and decision makers. I see ANFA’s work in fostering connections, as well as its educational agenda as crucial to bringing architecture and neuroscience together. Importantly, this plays a role in the development of novel approaches to solving issues facing society. It is in this spirit that I have joined ANFA’s Advisory Council and hope to work with colleagues to build on the great strides already made.