Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design (NAAD): A New Master’s Program in Venice

Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design (NAAD):
A New Master’s Program in Venice

The Master’s Program ‘Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design’ (NAAD), under the Directorship of Prof. Davide Ruzzon, is pleased to announce its second edition at the Università Iuav di Venezia (Iuav because it was formerly the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia). The program is available to students with a background in Architecture, Neuroscience or Psychology who wish to intertwine lessons from Architecture, Cognitive Science and Neuroscience into their practice.

The Program will run from November 2018 to July 2019 and is organized around three module

Module 1 – From 05 November 2018 to 11 January 2019

Module 2 – From 04 February to 05 April 2019

Module 3 – From 06 May to 29 July 2019

Each month during these modules, students will participate in one full week with 40 hours of lessons. During the third module, students will develop a design, using words, sketches and drawings, for a final thesis. All the theses will be set up in an exhibition in Venice in October 2019.

During each module, students will choose whether to reside in Venice full-time or come in only one week per month, for the formal lessons. Those who stay full-time will have full access to the services of the University Iuav di Venezia, as all the Labs and the Iuav Library, one of the largest in Europe.During each stay, students will attend the lessons, participate in workshops and debates and will develop a thesis that develops new designs for buildings and public open areas.

For information about enrolment, fees, and accommodation please see www.iuav.it or www.naad-master.com or contact druzzon@iuav.it.

Enrolment for the coming edition of the Program closes at 12.00 IT.A on 14th of September 2018.

We have had more than 90 different teachers at our lessons last year, from all the fields involved: some of them were well known, others were younger. they include Juhani Pallasmaa, Harry Mallgrave, Alberto Perez Gomez, Michael Arbib, Renato Bocchi, Michela Balconi, Vittorio Gallese, Merlin Donald, Tim Ingold, Alain Berthoz, Isabella Pasqualini, Sarah Robinson, Colin Ellard, Agostino de Rosa, and many many others.

The Master’s Program ‘Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design’ (NAAD), under the Directorship of Prof. Davide Ruzzon, is pleased to announce its second edition at the Università Iuav di Venezia (Iuav because it was formerly the Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia). The program is available to students with a background in Architecture, Neuroscience or Psychology who wish to intertwine lessons from Architecture, Cognitive Science and Neuroscience into their practice.

The Program will run from November 2018 to July 2019 and is organized around three module

Module 1 – From 05 November 2018 to 11 January 2019

Module 2 – From 04 February to 05 April 2019

Module 3 – From 06 May to 29 July 2019

Each month during these modules, students will participate in one full week with 40 hours of lessons. During the third module, students will develop a design, using words, sketches and drawings, for a final thesis. All the theses will be set up in an exhibition in Venice in October 2019.

During each module, students will choose whether to reside in Venice full-time or come in only one week per month, for the formal lessons. Those who stay full-time will have full access to the services of the University Iuav di Venezia, as all the Labs and the Iuav Library, one of the largest in Europe.During each stay, students will attend the lessons, participate in workshops and debates and will develop a thesis that develops new designs for buildings and public open areas.

For information about enrolment, fees, and accommodation please see www.iuav.it or www.naad-master.com or contact druzzon@iuav.it.

Enrolment for the coming edition of the Program closes at 12.00 IT.A on 14th of September 2018.

We have had more than 90 different teachers at our lessons last year, from all the fields involved: some of them were well known, others were younger. they include Juhani Pallasmaa, Harry Mallgrave, Alberto Perez Gomez, Michael Arbib, Renato Bocchi, Michela Balconi, Vittorio Gallese, Merlin Donald, Tim Ingold, Alain Berthoz, Isabella Pasqualini, Sarah Robinson, Colin Ellard, Agostino de Rosa, and many many others.

THE PROGRAM OF INSTRUCTION

The Course is divided into three module, as described below.

The thesis will be composed of two parts. The first one comprises 260 hours of project work during which the participants will develop studies and writings about one building or public area belonging to one of the ten typologies analysed in the third module. This preliminary investigation will be carried out through in situ studies, interviews with users, focus groups, and photos. The aim is to take control of the instruments given by the Master’s Program. The second part, of 100 hours, will be necessary to the design of the building, or of the open areas, that will complete the final dissertation.

FIRST MODULE

During the first three months, students will be given the fundamentals to understand how our body is provided with a uniquely evolved range of systems able to receive signals from the outside world. Next, we will analyze the interaction between each element involved in the architectural process and the human sensory system. Light, topology, organization and use of space, geometry, rhythm, texture and matters, sounds and smells: all these elements, prior individually and then through their integration, will be analyzed in relation to the physiology of the human sensory system. We willalso introduced the concepts of affordances and the action-perception cycle to depict how design features integrate sensory responses with behavior.

Week 1.a

THE BODY-BRAIN SYSTEM AND THE PHYSIOLOGY OF THE RECEPTORS

During these classes, students will be shown how biological neural networks of multisensorial experiences of space are set: in particular, we will explain how multiple kinds of receptors interact with the stimulus coming from the external environment and play a role in ongoing behavior. The brain elaborates and memorises data from the hearing, visual, tactile, smell, proprioceptive and interoceptive systems.

Week 1.b

HOW ENVIRONMENT AFFECTS MIND AND BODY: GEOMETRY, LIGHT AND TOPOLOGY

Through five days work, students will deal with the paths whereby some of the leading architectural features, such as the geometry, the topology and the natural light, affect the human brain-body complex.

Week 1.c

HOW ENVIRONMENT AFFECTS MIND AND BODY: RHYTHM, PROXEMICS, MATERIALS, TEXTURES, COLOURS AND SOUND

Through five days work, students will deal with the paths whereby further architectural features, such as rhythm, proxemics, materials, textures, colours and sound affect the human brain-body complex.

SECOND MODULE

Students will deal with the development and nature of emotions and feelings up to up to level of consciousness. On these fundamentals, they will focus the link between the body and its movements and consequently, arising from these underpinnings, the development of language and thought. Finally, students will learn the connection running through empathy and architecture, integrating the design of architectural atmospheres with the use of space. In the third week, students will work on the nature of human pre-cognitive expectations, grounded in the neuro-biological systems of primary emotions, related to daily activities

At the beginning of this module, students will start their thesis, choosing a typology from the ten proposed, the city where they are going to work, and the areas and main features of their designs. This in order to focus progressively their attention on the thesis and preparing the revisions of the third module.

Week 2.a

EMOTIONS, FEELINGS, CONSCIOUSNESS: LANGUAGE COMES FROM THE BODY

This part will focus on the axis that starts from emotions and leads to the feelings and thence decisively to the consciousness. On this terrain, lessons will help students understand the emergence and development of language and thought correlated to the emotion feeling body.

Week 2.b

ARCHITECTURE AND EMPATHY: THE DESIGN OF ATMOSPHERES

During the second week of this module, invited professors will show students how architecture can trigger different responses in the senses. They will describe how different multisensorial combinations of signals, coming from architectural settings, can activate different atmospheres and feelings.

Week 2.c

TUNING PRE-COGNITIVE EXPECTATIONS WITH ARCHITECTURE

The part of the course will lead to the identification, generally speaking, of the role of pre-cognitive expectations of users, surging from decisions developed in each different architectonic context. In the same week, some lessons will explore the unfriendly outcomes produced by the conflict between an inadequately conceived architecture and the pre-cognitive expectations of users.

THIRD MODULE

This module will give the students the instruments needed to transform and erect buildings in cities, taking care of the needs of users. The first part will bridge from the physiology of the emotions to the architectural features able to attune people and settings. The second and third weeks will be organised around case studies: Senior Housing, Schools, Hospitals, Jails, Urban Spaces, Offices, Sports Facilities, Housing, Stations and Commercial Areas. This last module will also launch the phase of the design for the students’ theses.

Preparatory materials of the thesis will be arranged at the end of the third module, at the end of July 2019. During the summer, students will have the time to organize the final edition of the thesis and related posters for the exhibition in Venice in October. .

Week 3.a

FROM PHYSIOLOGY OF EMOTION TO ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN

This week will bridge between the physiology of the emotions and the architectural characteristics able to attune people and the built environments. Analysis of the body gestures, meshed with all the emotions, will lead into description ofhow to translate physiology responses in architectural terms.

Week 3.b

TUNING PRE-COGNITIVE EXPECTATIONS: SENIORS’ HOUSES, HOSPITALS, PRISONS, SCHOOLS, OPEN SPACES

In this week, students will analyse the pre-cognitive expectations of users in five different study cases: Retirement Houses, Hospitals, Schools, Jails and Urban Spaces. During five working days, students will learn how architecture can benefit users thanks to the human science as well as neuroscience. Architects, researchers, and workers in the fields will explain, during five afternoons’ workshops, how to improve the designs with proper features. Each afternoon will thus contribute to the collective revision of each thesis, involving all the students and the daily guest professors.

Week 3.c

TUNING PRE-COGNITIVE EXPECTATIONS: OFFICES, RETAIL, HOUSING, STATIONS, SPORT

In this week, students will analyse the pre-cognitive expectations of users in five different study cases: Offices, Retail, Housing, Stations, Sports Complex. Collective revision of each thesis will continue, involving all the students and the daily guest professors.