Sensing our City | Conscious Warsaw Webinar
Online I EVENT WILL BE IN POLISH with international speakers' intro in English
22 October, 2020


9:00 AM


3:00 PM


6:30 PM


11:00 PM

Space has never been neutral; it has often been profoundly ideological.
The imagination of urban and landscape designers and architects has been captured by the idea that we read spaces as we read books. However, we have been witnessing a paradigm shift in the cultural world: we are moving from semiotics towards perception and landscapes are becoming sensescapes. Contemporary cities don’t always enable us a multimodal experience of space, they are not always designed with human scale in mind, they don’t always consider our biological and psychological. What is the ultimate meaning of human-centred spaces? Is it that in future urban and architectural decisions could be influenced by interdisciplinary teams including specialists who understand the complexity of human perception and cognition?
Sensing Our City is organized to discuss some of the topics around how people experience space and how it affects their attitudes, behaviours, health and wellbeing.

ORGANIZER: Natalia Olszewska



Natalia Olszewska / Conscious Cities


Davide Ruzzon / About Neuroscience and Architecture
Nour Tawil / Environmental Neuroscience
Michal Matlon / Environment and wellbeing.“Venetian Letter”, a new initiative.


Agnieszka Olszewska - Guizzo / "Healthy Cities - cities for people”. How to design urban spaces to enhance inhabitants' health
Karolina Zielinska-Dabkowska / Light in a city. Its impact on public health
Karolina Konecka / Nudging in the built environment. Choice architecture and health

15.45 - 15.55 - coffee break


Anna Petroff-Skiba / A citizen being the centre of attention. How to plan a city and its actions, remembering who we do it for?
Anna Kotowska / Participatory projects - how to respond to human needs and create a lively urban space in a city?
Beata Patuszynska / Urban games - children and urban space.
Dominika Sadowska / Managing VUCA (Volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) at a city level


Waldemar Olbryk / “Experimenting in a city”. Innovations. 'Destination places' by Echo. The role of technology in a city
Magda Gawron / “Cities of Plants”- how to use technology and data analysis to support humans in a fight with a drought, drainage and smog.
Przemyslaw Zakrzewski / Digitization in a city - a global view. Polish enterprises and Industry 4.0. Education and challenges posed by the ever-changing world
Joanna Erbel / Trust as a currency of the future - how tokenization can strengthen local communities

17.05 - 17.30

Neurolandscape & Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Singapore

President and founder of the NeuroLandscape Foundation, Doctor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Ecology, she obtained her PhD at the University of Porto in Portugal and currently is a researcher at the Faculty of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. She is interested in the relationship between the characteristics of the natural and built environment and the mental health and well-being of city dwellers and people suffering from mental disorders. In her activity, she successfully applied the psychophysiology tools, including neuroscience, to study changes in brain wave oscillations in people exposed to various types of landscapes. She introduced and operationalized the concept of Contemplative Landscapes and proposed a psychometric tool (Contemplative Landscape Model), which is a quantitative scale for assessing and classifying views, based on their potential mental health benefits through just passive observation. In her work, she strives to implement scientific research into practical actions to promote mental health in cities, to this end she has collaborated with top research centres and government agencies in Europe and Asia.

Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin)

Nour Tawil is a Lebanese, Berlin-based architect with extensive experience in project management and delivery of medium to big scale residential, hospitality, and commercial projects. After finishing her Architecture degree in 2003, she immediately began her practice in Beirut, working with a multitude of architectural firms and real estate developers.

Her strong belief in the human-centric design approach has inspired her interest in understanding the scientific basis for the relationship between the built environment and the body/brain system. She pursued her degree in “Neuroscience applied to Architectural Design” at Universita Iuav di Venezia (Venice, 2018), with a focus on mental health.

Nour is currently a fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development (Berlin), where she is doing her PhD studies in Environmental Neuroscience, as part of the IMPRS on the Life Course 2020 cohort. She will be examining age-specific neuronal mechanisms in different architectural configurations, using neuro-imaging tools and cognitive testing, with the purpose of informing architecture in ways to optimize cognitive functioning, physical/mental health and well-being.


An architect from Jaz+Architekci (Jaz+Architects), an architectural studio based in Warsaw which specialises in participatory design of public spaces. Anna is a graduate of various architectural schools: ENSAB Rennes in France, La Cambre Architecture in Belgium and Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw Technical University. Her passion for urban design is additionally expressed through activism; she is actively engaged in a local society called ‘Miasto Jest Nasze’ (‘City Is Ours’).

At Jaz+Architekci (Jaz+Architects) she manages Jaz+Miasto (Jaz+City) Department, which apart from being responsible for the design of places, parks, squares, and revitalization of city quarters, actively shares theoretical knowledge at events like ‘Forum Praktyków Partycypacji’ (Forum for Practitioners of Participation).

During the design process, she collaborates with environmental psychologists and sociologists.
She believes that a well-designed space responds to human needs, is ‘site-specific’ and requires an individual approach.

Proptech Foundation

Magda is an environmental engineer (Warsaw University of Life Sciences). She began her career from training European bison researchers and breeders from all over the world, but then life led her to get involved with technology companies, in which she spent the next 15 years working as operations, change specialist, and advisory partner. Now in Proptech Foundation, she joins her technology experience with environmental knowledge, working to create best practices in the green and smart buildings for Real Estate and cities. Magda is a Managing Partner at Proptech Foundation.

Gdańsk University of Technology
designs4people [d4p]

Karolina is chartered RIBA architect, award-winning lighting designer (founder of designs4people [d4p]), and Assistant Professor at Gdańsk University of Technology (GUT), Poland, actively engaged in the work of international lighting organisations such as CIE, IALD, IDA and IES. She has 15+ years of international professional experience (Berlin, London, New York, Zurich) in the illumination of large and medium scale interior and exterior projects from various sectors. As co-founder and co-director of GUT LightLab and interdisciplinary group ILLUME she also conducts research on various aspects of light and lighting in the built environment. Her interests touch on the issues of interdisciplinary considerations in contemporary illumination projects, including limitations resulting from ecology, environmental protection, sustainable development or human health and well-being as well as new technological possibilities.


Michal is an architecture psychologist with 10 years of multidisciplinary experience in technology, media and marketing. He helps to create places of flourishing and meaningful work, from offices to urban quarters. He is a passionate public speaker and writer, talking about the importance of building humane environments based on scientific knowledge. In the past, Michal worked at one of the largest and most innovative office and retail developers in Europe, where he developed the user experience strategy for the company´s buildings and established an internal education program. Currently, he collaborates with theLivingCore.

Echo Investment S.A.

A board member at Echo Investment S.A.For over 20 years actively engaged in the real estate market and working for companies such as BP, Apsys, Philips and Skanska. A Fellow of Project Management Institute and Royal Society for the Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. An initiator and a co-creator of debates between artists, the world of business and academia, organized during SOUNDEDIT festival in Łodź (Poland).

Fundacja Blisko

Joanna Erbel is a sociologist, city activist, an expert in housing matters. Founder of ‘Blisko’ Foundation, which supports local activities and creation of knowledge in the area of housing innovations. Joanna co-ordinated work related to housing policies and a programme ‘Mieszkania2030’ for a city of Warsaw. A fellow of the expert group ‘Laboratorium Runku Najmu’ and ‘CoopTech Hub’ in CIC Warsaw. Author of the book ‘Poza własnościa. W stronę udanej polityki mieszkaniowej' / 'Beyond property. Heading towards a successful housing policy’.


Dominika Sadowska - an expert in the anti-discrimination policy and law, the mediator of D&I conflicts, initiator and founder of Divercity+. She specializes in design and implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies for enterprises, cities and metropolis. Currently, she is working on a new diversity policy for the city of Warsaw and equality action plan for the city of Poznan. She is an author of Polish programme of counteraction against racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance. An enthusiast of social responsibility of architecture and issues related to urban conflicts. 

Department of Public Consultation & Resident Involvement Division, Center for Public Communication, Warsaw City Hall

Anna Petroff-Skiba, a sociologist, a city clerk, an enthusiast of participatory design. She completed a post-graduate programme ‘Social consultations and Resolution of Social Conflicts’ organized by the Institute of Applied Social Sciences (Warsaw University). She heads the Department of Public Consultation & Resident Involvement Division at the Center for Public Communication of Warsaw City Hall. She co-ordinated a project ‘Strengthening mechanism of social participation in the Capital City Warsaw” ’, thanks to which novel solutions for social consultations were introduced into life. She organized and supported organizational processes for over 100 consultations. An editor of the book ‘This is how we consulted - Warszawa shares a good practice’ and ‘Social Consultations. 24 inspirations from Warsaw’, both of which summarize consultation processes conducted in Warsaw. An author and co-author of EU projects aimed at the development of consultations at the level of local governments: ‘From diagnosis to strategy’, ‘Improvement of consultations for local government’, ‘Warsaw local plans - a search for participatory model’, ‘Supporting a civic dialogue in conditions of local conflict’. An author of many articles and publications on the topic of consultations with city inhabitants and participatory actions. She conducted many workshops for administration clerks of local and central level and representatives of non-governmental organizations. An activist of the non-governmental organization - The Scouts Association (Stowarzeszenie Harcerskie). Privately, a mother of Ula and Natalia.

A great enthusiast of new technologies, he never overlooks any technical innovations. He doesn’t oppose technology being embedded in our lives, moreover, he agrees with the idea that technology at some stage could outsmart people.
Graduate of Łódź University of Technology (2002) and Executive MBA programme from University of Warsaw / University of Illinois (2014).
Przemek has worked for ABB for 16 years. He brought into existence an 'Application Development and Maintenance Department' for a division in the ABB group. He managed also technological giant’s IT department. Currently, he is a leader for ABB group’s Corporate Technologies Center, where scientists, engineers and programmers perform research and create products for electrification, industrial automation and digitization. The Center is responsible for the development and maintenance of digital cloud for ABB Ability platform, which constitutes a foundation for ABB group digital solutions and IoT.
Awarded with Diamond CIO of the year „Vox populi – vox CIO” in 2015"


Beata Patuszyńska - based in Warsaw, Poland. For over 15 years she has been involved in the property sector as public relations and marketing advisor. Connecting the role of a property advisor and a mother she started investigating children’s experience of a city. She believes that children are important participants of urban space and therefore they should be included in deciding about its shape. She also believes that truly smart solutions are simple, and they don’t need to employ state-of-the-art technology. Very often, children spot them first. That is why she talks and listens to children speaking on their experience of urban space. She shares her findings during conferences, writing articles and educating. Recently she has been preparing a children's book, aimed at accustoming children with the experience of first independent travels in a city.

Karolina is a practising architect and UX-designer based in Switzerland. She is interested in how people interact with their physical and digital environments. She advocates for a human-centred and research-based approach in design. Karolina holds MSc degree in Architecture and Urban Planning from TU Delft and BSc degree from TU Warsaw. Her Master thesis was presented at Architecture Biennale 2014 in Venice. She has worked in several renowned architectural practices, including Daniel Libeskind and EM2N and was a tutor and co-organizer of various international workshops.