The Centre for Conscious Design

Flourish | Session 2 | Connectedness

October 21, 2020 – 2:00 pm

Host Chapter / Organisers

Recordings (available to CCD Members)

People shape places, and, in turn, places shape people.

How can we create cities that better contribute to human flourishing?

Conscious Cities London is bringing together diverse voices from the science, design and creative communities to inform, inspire and agitate ideas of how we can reimagine our urban environments by putting people and planet first.



Wednesday, 21 October (2:00-6:00pm BST / 9:00am-1:00pm EST)

How can the built environment facilitate quality of life, community, sense of belonging and improve mental health?

Register here:



Placemaking, Social Value and Wellbeing
In conversation with:
Christine Murray (Founding Editor-in-Chief of The Developer magazine, Director, Festival of Place)
Prof. Flora Samuel (Professor of Architecture in the Built Environment, University of Reading)

Join a conversation between Christine Murray and Flora Samuel on the topics of placemaking, social value and wellbeing. Christine Murray is the founding Editor-in-Chief of The Developer magazine and director of the Festival of Place. She writes passionately about equity and liveable cities.  Flora Samuel is Professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Reading, author of Why Architects Matter (2018) and the lead author on the RIBA Social Value Toolkit for Architecture.

Designing Loneliness out of the Workplace
Rachel Edwards (Senior Strategist in Workplace Futures, Lendlease)
Nigel Oseland (Environmental Psychologist, University College London)

Does a workplace bring people together? Or does it push people apart? Loneliness is a growing problem, and although advances in technology make it easier than ever before to be connected to others, in reality people are feeling increasingly isolated. The “Loneliness Lab” is a collective looking at the problem of loneliness in the workplace. Research has been conducted as art of the initiative, including a literature review, on-line survey and workshops. Dr Nigel Oseland will share the early results.

Supporting flourishing in cities with salient ‘what works’ research (and more parsnips)
Jamie Anderson (Urban Wellbeing Lead, Buro Happold)

How we create cities that better contribute to human flourishing is dependent on a good understanding of ‘what-works’. However, when considering the most recent definitions and standards, the science of urban flourishing is limited; inhibiting what may be credibly translated into evidence-informed practice. Within his talk, Jamie offers two ways in which the University of Manchester and Buro Happold are addressing key challenges associated with this complex but fascinating area. He will discuss the importance of new tools that go beyond happiness and life satisfaction, and the need to address the long-standing ‘candy-floss’ criticism – with stronger research (or ‘parsnips’). The talk will draw upon recent and forthcoming tool Open Access publications such as MOHAWk and NOURISH, and ‘natural experiment’ case studies such as Grow Green and Brent Cross Town (BXT).

Our Future Foyle
Jeremy Myerson (Helen Hamilyn Professor of Design, Royal College of Art)

‘Ready for the Foyle’ is a familiar saying among residents of Derry-Londonderry in Northern Ireland, a city with a long history of sectarian tension and violence. Whether said in jest or with deadly seriousness, the saying refers to a bleak six-mile stretch of the River Foyle which is a well-known suicide black spot. In this presentation, Jeremy Myerson looks at one the flagship community engagement and research projects of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the Royal College of Art: Our Future Foyle. This set out to reimagine conditions along the river and transform an area associated with poor emotional wellbeing into a more lively and lived-in place.

A Circle
James Tyson & Jennie Savage

a circle is an animated short film that takes you on a journey through a global city. A city of architectural objects which function as machines for the industry of the twenty-first century: processing capital. a circle looks into the gaps to discover a human presence reflected in its surface and explores the potential of collapse as a metaphor for questioning what it means to be human; to live within this machine. Voices, reflections and dialogues provide a soundtrack in response to spaces which are conceived visually and rationalised scientifically to maximise consumption yet are presented as a kind of utopia.