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One of the nation’s chief architecture critics reveals how the environments we build profoundly shape our feelings, memories, and well-being, and argues that we must harness this knowledge to construct a world better suited to human experience. Taking us on a fascinating journey through some of the world’s best and worst landscapes, buildings, and cityscapes, Sarah Williams Goldhagen draws from recent research in cognitive neuroscience and psychology to demonstrate how people’s experiences of the places they build are central to their well-being, their physical health, their communal and social lives, and even their very sense of themselves. From this foundation, Goldhagen presents a powerful case that societies must use this knowledge to rethink what and how they build: the world needs better-designed, healthier environments that address the complex range of human individual and social needs. By 2050 America’s population is projected to increase by nearly seventy million people. This will necessitate a vast amount of new construction—almost all in urban areas—that will dramatically transform our existing landscapes, infrastructure, and urban areas. Going forward, we must do everything we can to prevent the construction of exhausting, overstimulating environments and enervating, understimulating ones. Buildings, landscapes, and cities must both contain and spark associations of natural light, greenery, and other ways of being in landscapes that humans have evolved to need and expect. Fancy exteriors and dramatic forms are never enough, and may not even be necessary; authentic textures and surfaces, and careful, well-executed construction details are just as important. Erudite, wise, lucidly written, and beautifully illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, Welcome to Your World is a vital, eye-opening guide to the spaces we inhabit, physically and mentally, and a clarion call to design for human experience.
One of the nation’s chief architecture critics reveals how the environments we build profoundly shape our feelings, memories, and well-being, and argues that we must harness this knowledge to construct a world better suited to human experience. Taking us on a fascinating journey through some of the world’s best and worst landscapes, buildings, and cityscapes, Sarah Williams Goldhagen draws from recent research in cognitive neuroscience and psychology to demonstrate how people’s experiences of the places they build are central to their well-being, their physical health, their communal and social lives, and even their very sense of themselves. From this foundation, Goldhagen presents a powerful case that societies must use this knowledge to rethink what and how they build: the world needs better-designed, healthier environments that address the complex range of human individual and social needs. By 2050 America’s population is projected to increase by nearly seventy million people. This will necessitate a vast amount of new construction—almost all in urban areas—that will dramatically transform our existing landscapes, infrastructure, and urban areas. Going forward, we must do everything we can to prevent the construction of exhausting, overstimulating environments and enervating, understimulating ones. Buildings, landscapes, and cities must both contain and spark associations of natural light, greenery, and other ways of being in landscapes that humans have evolved to need and expect. Fancy exteriors and dramatic forms are never enough, and may not even be necessary; authentic textures and surfaces, and careful, well-executed construction details are just as important. Erudite, wise, lucidly written, and beautifully illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, Welcome to Your World is a vital, eye-opening guide to the spaces we inhabit, physically and mentally, and a clarion call to design for human experience.
Although we spend more than ninety percent of our lives inside buildings, we understand very little about how the built environment affects our behavior, thoughts, emotions, and well-being. We are biological beings whose senses and neural systems have developed over millions of years; it stands to reason that research in the life sciences, particularly neuroscience, can offer compelling insights into the ways our buildings shape our interactions with the world. This expanded understanding can help architects design buildings that support both mind and body. In Mind in Architecture, leading thinkers from architecture and other disciplines, including neuroscience, cognitive science, psychiatry, and philosophy, explore what architecture and neuroscience can learn from each other. They offer historical context, examine the implications for current architectural practice and education, and imagine a neuroscientifically informed architecture of the future. Architecture is late in discovering the richness of neuroscientific research. As scientists were finding evidence for the bodily basis of mind and meaning, architecture was caught up in convoluted cerebral games that denied emotional and bodily reality altogether. This volume maps the extraordinary opportunity that engagement with cutting-edge neuroscience offers present-day architects. ContributorsThomas D. Albright, Michael Arbib, John Paul Eberhard, Melissa Farling, Vittorio Gallese, Alessandro Gattara, Mark L. Johnson, Harry Francis Mallgrave, Iain McGilchrist, Juhani Pallasmaa, Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Sarah Robinson
"Louis Kahn is perhaps the most important architect to emerge in the decades following World War II. In this book Sarah Williams Goldhagen dismantles the myths that have cast Kahn variously as a mystical neo-Platonist, a structural rationalist, a visionary champion of Beaux-Arts principles, or a rebel against modernism. She demonstrates instead that Kahn's architecture is grounded in his deeply held modernist political, social, and artistic ideals, which guided him as he sought to rework modernism into a socially transformative architecture appropriate for the postwar world." "Goldhagen presents much new archival evidence about Kahn's buildings, his ideas, and his indebtedness to contemporary art and to the many socio-critical and architectural discourses of the postwar years. She offers fresh interpretations of many of his important buildings, including the Yale University Art Gallery and the National Assembly complex in Bangladesh, as well as of such previously understudied or misunderstood works as the Trenton Bathhouse and his AFL Medical Services building in Philadelphia. Goldhagen then theorizes Kahn's architectural principles to show that he struggled with modernism rather than against it, reconceptualizing it into a singular and powerful new vocabulary that retains architectural and social relevance today."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In recent years we have seen a number of dramatic discoveries within the biological and related sciences. Traditional arguments such as "nature versus nurture" are rapidly disappearing because of the realization that just as we are affecting our environments, so too do these altered environments restructure our cognitive abilities and outlooks. If the biological and technological breakthroughs are promising benefits such as extended life expectancies, these same discoveries also have the potential to improve in significant ways the quality of our built environments. This poses a compelling challenge to conventional architectural theory... This is the first book to consider these new scientific and humanistic models in architectural terms. Constructed as a series of five essays around the themes of beauty, culture, emotion, the experience of architecture, and artistic play, this book draws upon a broad range of discussions taking place in philosophy, psychology, biology, neuroscience, and anthropology, and in doing so questions what implications these discussions hold for architectural design. Drawing upon a wealth of research, Mallgrave argues that we should turn our focus away from the objectification of architecture (treating design as the creation of objects) and redirect it back to those for whom we design: the people inhabiting our built environments.
"Home is an idea," Meghan Daum writes in her foreword, "a story we tell ourselves about who we are and who and what we want closest in our midst." In The American Idea of Home, documentary filmmaker Bernard Friedman interviews more than thirty leaders in the field of architecture about a constellation of ideas relating to housing and home. The interviewees include Pritzker Prize winners Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, and Robert Venturi; Pulitzer Prize winners Paul Goldberger and Tracy Kidder; American Institute of Architects head Robert Ivy; and legendary architects such as Denise Scott Brown, Charles Gwathmey, Kenneth Frampton, and Robert A. M. Stern. The American idea of home and the many types of housing that embody it launch lively, wide-ranging conversations about some of the most vital and important issues in architecture today. The topics that Friedman and his interviewees discuss illuminate five overarching themes: the functions and meanings of home; history, tradition, and change in residential architecture; activism, sustainability, and the environment; cities, suburbs, and regions; and technology, innovation, and materials. Friedman frames the interviews with an extended introduction that highlights these themes and helps readers appreciate the common concerns that underlie projects as disparate as Katrina cottages and Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian houses. Readers will come away from these thought-provoking interviews with an enhanced awareness of the "under the hood" kinds of design decisions that fundamentally shape our ideas of home and the dwellings in which we live.
*Winner of the Environmental Design Research Association 2016 Place Research Award!* In Cognitive Architecture, the authors review new findings in psychology and neuroscience to help architects and planners better understand their clients as the sophisticated mammals they are, arriving in the world with built-in responses to the environment that have evolved over millennia. The book outlines four main principles---Edges Matter, the fact people are a?thigmotactic?or a 'wall-hugging' species; Patterns Matter, how we are visually-oriented; Shapes Carry Weight, how our preference for bilateral symmetrical forms is biological; and finally, Storytelling is Key, how our narrative proclivities, unique to our species, play a role in successful place-making. The book takes an inside-out approach to design, arguing that the more we understand human behavior, the better we can design for it. The text suggests new ways to analyze current designs before they are built, allowing the designer to anticipate a user's future experience. More than one hundred photographs and drawings illustrate its key concepts. Six exercises and additional case studies suggest particular topics - from the significance of face-processing in the human brain to our fascination with fractals - for further study.

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