The Centre for Conscious Design

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Becoming the City

Colin Ellard is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo and director of its Urban Realities Laboratory.  Ellard works at the intersection of urban and architectural design and experimental psychology.  He has developed a novel set of methods by which the human response to the built environment can be measured using a toolkit consisting of both traditional psychological methods and sensor-based measurements of physiology and brain function.  Ellard publishes his work frequently in the peer-reviewed scientific literature but he also engages in extensive knowledge mobilization work involving collaboration and partnership with architects, museums and other NGOs. He travels widely giving keynotes for groups interested in architecture, design, and planning.  Ellard is an Urban Design and Mental Health Fellow, a Salzburg Global Fellow and an editor of the Journal of Environmental Psychology and the Journal of Urban Design and Mental Health. Ellard’s most recent book is Places of the Heart (Bellevue Literary Press, 2015).