“This is Your Brain on Urban Design” – Colin Ellard lecture
with Richard Louv, author of Natural Principles and The Last Child in the Woods as the discussant.
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 25th at 6:30pm PT
Location: NewSchool Auditorium, 1249 F Street, San Diego, CA 92101
Admission Fee: Free
Lecture Summary: The advent of new tools and technologies has made it possible to map the psychological effects of architectural and urban design in unprecedented detail. In my talk, I will describe some of the methods that we have used to explore the mental and physiological state of urban pedestrians both in the field and in the immersive virtual environments. Findings from these studies suggest that physical variables in our surroundings, including facade design, the presence of urban greenscape, and street geometry, produce predictable effects on our minds, brains, and bodies. I will argue that these findings suggest that the consideration of psychological sustainability in urban design is practical, achievable, and an essential ingredient of public health.
About Colin Ellard: Ellard works at the intersection of neuroscience and architectural and environmental design. He is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo and the director of its Urban Realities Laboratory. Ellard is the author of Places of the Heart: the Psychogeography of Everyday Life and You are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon but Get Lost at the Mall. He has published scientific work in international journals in North America, Europe, and Asia for the past thrity years and has also contributed to the public discussion of environmental psychology through his work with museums and the media.
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