Andrea Jelić, M.Arch, PhD

Aalborg University, Department of Architecture, Design and Media Technology (Aalborg, Denmark)


Andrea Jelić is a researcher, architect, and educator working at the intersection of architecture, enactive-embodied cognitive science, neuroscience, and philosophy/phenomenology, with the aim of developing an integrative, interdisciplinary approach to conceptualizing and investigating people’s experience of the built environment that can be embraced in user-centered and research-based design for health and well-being. Currently, she is apostdoctoral researcher and member of “Brain, Body, Architecture Research” group (BBAR)at Aalborg University. She is also a lecturer and faculty member in NAAD “Neuroscience applied to architectural design” master program at IUAV University of Venice. Andrea holds a PhD in architecture from the Sapienza University of Rome.

ANFA Themes

As a member of ANFA Advisory Council, my overarching aim is to foster and mediate an innovative cross-disciplinary dialogues including, but not limited to, fields of architecture, cognitive science, neuroscience, and philosophy—and extend the ANFA reach and network through research, publications, education, and hosting of events at local and international scales.

My general research interests and ongoing projects within this interdisciplinary field have the notions of embodiment and experience at their core, and include among others: 1) investigating the relationship between body, stress, language, and spatial experience; 2) exploring how the built environment affects children’s play, learning, and creativity from the lenses of embodied cognitive science and co-creation; 3) examining the links between affordances, affective atmospheres, and meaning-making in architecture, especially in spaces of heritage and memory; and 4) addressing the issues of translational research, user perspectives and empathy thinking in design and architecture education. Furthermore, I see the educational value of this integrated cross-disciplinary perspective for helping students develop their “reflective practitioner” mindset by gaining important skills to critically assess, synthesize, and incorporate multi-disciplinary human-environment research in the context of the globally growing evidence-based and research-based design practices.

What this emerging interdisciplinary body of knowledge brings forth, is a chance to rethink design issues and generate new understanding of the role of architecture in culture and society, and thereby an unprecedented opportunity for researchers, practitioners, educators, and future designers within and through ANFA network to address the issues of human health and social sustainability in the built environment under the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Selected Publications

Jelić, A., Staničić, A. (2020). The memory in bodily and architectural making: Reflections from embodied cognitive science. In Micieli-Voutsinas, J. & Person, A. M. (Eds.), Affective architectures: More-than-representational approaches to heritage. London: Routledge.

Jelić, A., Tieri, G., De Matteis, F., Babiloni, F., Vecchiato, G. (2016). The enactive approach to architectural experience: A neurophysiological perspective on embodiment, motivation, and affordances. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 481. doi: 3389/fpsyg.2016.00481

Tvedebrink, T. D. O., Jelić, A. (2018).Getting under the(ir) skin: Applying personas and scenarios with embodied cognitive science for improved understanding of users’ perspective in architectural design. Persona studies, 4(2), 5. doi: 21153/psj2018vol4no2art746

Vecchiato, G., Tieri, G., Jelić, A., De Matteis, F., Maglione, A. Babiloni, F. (2015). Electroencephalographic correlates of sensorimotor integration and embodiment during the appreciation of virtual architectural environments. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1944doi: 3389/fpsyg.2015.01944

Jelić, A. (2015). Designing “pre-reflective” architecture: Implications of neurophenomenology for architectural design and thinking. Ambiances:International Journal of Sensory Environment, Architecture, and Urban Spaces.Special issue Experiential simulation