Shaping Conscious Cities
MAXXI Auditorium, Rome
17 September, 2019





The world around us is increasingly controlled by algorithms that predict and react to our needs. As we blur the boundaries between the physical and digital realm, who will be responsible for defining our relationship with the homes, offices, and streets we inhabit? Creating empathic, human-centred spaces will be in the hands of computing innovators, making it imperative that all sectors of society are present and represented in the process. How will we translate insights emerging from psychology and neuroscience into guidelines for coding healthy and democratic architecture and urban design?

Natalia Olszewska is a Researcher and Practitioner in Neuroscience Applied to Architecture. Being a graduate in medicine (Jagiellonian University & Tor Vergata), neuroscience (Sorbonne Université & ENS), Brain and Mind studies (UCL) and ‘Neuroscience applied to Architectural Design’ (IUAV university) she works between disciplines and aims to create insights which can change our architectural and urban environment and make it more people-centred. At work, she combines her deep care for people and their well-being with her passion for architecture and design. Her specific professional interest is the impact of architecture on different aspects of our lives: social, behavioural, health & well-being and cognition. Natalia is a co-founder of Impronta, behavioural sciences and neuroscience consultancy for architecture.




VP R&D at Zencity. Experienced development manager with an MSc in computer science from TAU and with a thesis in the field of Phylogenetic Trees. Anat is an IDF 8200 Alumni and a fierce advocate for women in tech.  Manages and leads ZenCity’s dev and data science teams. Responsible for team deliverables, from architectural design through coding, verifications and release to production.

Senior Architect at Studio Fuksas

Elnaz Ghazi, MArch, PhD, has practiced in Italy and in Iran. She pursued her doctoral degree in architecture at the University of ‘La Sapienza’ with title “New horizons and new potentiality of the public space: Interaction, Sociology, Communication, Technologies, Neuroscience” for improving the social interaction in the public space. Her research interests focus is specifically on the brain waves and facial expressions as a mean to capture the users’ emotions, feelings and sensations. After her Ph.D., she immediately started to collaborate with Rachel Armstrong and her research group in the field of ‘Living Architecture Systems’ at Newcastle University in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, she gained the professional experience working with various architectural practices in the middle East and Europe, among them Fuksas Studio in Italy. At the moment she is working for the international architectural practice in Germany in the field of Computational Design. She also worked as the lecturer for the master degree program ‘Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design’ at IUAV university in Venice. In the recent years, a variety of her personal projects was awarded and was exposed in ‘HOMI Design in Milan 2016, 2017, 2018’, ‘Expo Milan 2015’, ‘Fab10’ Barcelona 2014, ‘Maker Fair’ Rome 2014. Other awarded projects were ‘Rascacielo 2013’ for ‘ARQUITECTUM’ in Lima in Peru, ‘So.Ma’ and ‘Aleph’ for the digital crafting competition ‘Reshape’ and ‘Responsive Environment’ for the ‘CAME Design Award’. Moreover, she is an author of several scientific publications and her work has been awarded and exhibited internationally.

Director The Centre for Conscious Design
Director at Hume

Itai is a practicing architect and researcher focusing on designing with the human experience in mind. He is Director of Hume, a science-informed architecture and urban design practice backed by research at its Human Metrics Lab.

In 2015, Itai founded the Conscious Cities movement; a new field of research and practice for building people-centred environments that are aware and responsive using data analysis, AI, tech, and behavioural science in design. Itai is the Director of The Centre for Conscious Design, a think tank focused on using design to address urban challenges facing society today and in the future. The centre publishes open-access research and organises human-centred and science-informed design events worldwide.

A fellow at The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health (editing its inaugural journal), and at the Urban Design Forum, Itai also carries out thought leadership roles in bodies such as Harvard and Brookings Institution and is on the Advisory Council of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.

An alumnus of The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, Itai has worked alongside the late visionary architect Jan Kaplicky at Future System on projects such as the Ferrari Museum in Modena. His design work and writing has been featured internationally and he is a regular speaker at events focused on human-centred design.