The seedling of ‘conscious cities’ was first planted in 2015 by architect Itai Palti and neuroscientist Prof. Moshe Bar in their ‘ Manifesto for Conscious Cities.’ To this day, the Conscious Cities Movement continues to grow, cultivating publications, events, and attitude-shifts in how we approach, envision, and design our shared spaces. At the Centre for Conscious Design (CCD), we believe ‘conscious design’ responds to its users, alleviates complex social issues, and is grounded in research, evidence, and community-based insights.

A ‘conscious city’ is an environment that is both created for and responsive to its users through technology, artificial intelligence (AI), and science-informed design. A conscious environment is dynamic – it is built with the user in mind and uses research to create a space that maximises user potential as well as meets and adapts to a user’s needs over time. Design for a conscious building, city, or space revolves around user, community, and societal needs.

While every space, city, and community is unique, the crux of creating a conscious city is understanding people. By investigating the full picture of society and empathising with space participants, we can create a multidimensional roadmap for design that supports health and wellbeing. From this roadmap, we can ideate design insights, enhance them with continual research, prototype design interventions at an increasing scale, and continually test and reassess performance measures. For a conscious city, research is not a one-off static occurrence; it is infinite and continues to grow and influence the design process in what is considered a ‘feedback loop’.