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The Centre for Conscious Design

Alongside visual tools, architects use intuition and a well-developed sense of empathy to imagine the experience of another within the environment being created. However, not only are these understandings limited by our subjective disposition, they are also difficult to express to others effectively. Increasingly so, science is creating insights that can augment the architect’s ability to curate an experience. The adoption of new tools from psychology and neuroscience into the architect’s creative process is now a viable and promising opportunity.

Conscious Cities, The Bartlett School of Architecture, and the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience host a series of short talks and a panel debate with researchers at the forefront of creating behavioural insights.

Behavioural Science for The Built Environment

Rachel champions the role of the built environment in supporting health. She is part of Public Health England’s Healthy Places Unit, where she runs PHE’s housing and health programme. Rachel has led healthy place-making research, advocacy and guidance projects, including for NHS England’s ‘Healthy New Towns’ programme and for Design Council, which helps organisations use design to improve people’s lives. A qualified landscape architect, she has designed streets and public spaces in the UK, Ireland, India and Nepal, delivered town centre regeneration and managed social housing. Rachel previously worked for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, advising local authorities, developers and designers on development and regeneration proposals across England, and running a design advice programme for secondary schools for the Department for Education. She leads on built environment for the Mayor of London’s Child Obesity Taskforce and is a member of the Wandsworth Design Review Panel. As part of the community group Wandsworth Living Streets, Rachel campaigns for people-friendly streets in south-west London.

Prof Christoph Hölscher is Full Professor of Cognitive Science in the D-GESS at ETH Zürich since 2013, with an emphasis on Applied Cognitive Science. Since 2016 Christoph is a Principal Investigator at the Singapore ETH Center (SEC) Future Cities Laboratory, heading a research group on ‘Cognition, Perception and Behaviour in Urban Environments’. He holds a PhD in Psychology from University of Freiburg, served as honorary senior research fellow at UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture, and is a visiting Professor at Northumbria University Newcastle.

Christoph has several years of industry experience in Human-Computer Interaction and usability consulting. The core mission of his research groups in Zurich and Singapore is to unravel the complex interaction of humans and their physical, technical and social environment with an emphasis on cognitive processes and task-oriented behaviour.

Dr Nigel Oseland is an environmental psychologist, researcher, workplace strategist, change manager, public speaker and author with 11 years research and 19 years consulting experience. Nigel is an internationally recognised expert in post occupancy evaluation, impact of design on performance, agile working, psychophysics and the psychology of the workplace.

Nigel has published over 100 academic papers, books and guides including: Improving Office Productivity: A Guide for Business and Facilities Managers, the BCO Guide to Post-Occupancy Evaluation, Making Flexible Working Work and CIBSE TM24 Environmental Factors Affecting Office Worker Performance: Review of Evidence. He continues to write articles and guidance and has recently published chapters in four new books on POE and performance. Nigel regularly presents at international conferences, and organises the biannual Workplace Trends conference and annual Designing & Managing Learning Environments conference.

Prof Kate Jeffery is a neuroscientist researching how the brain makes an internal representation of space. Kate founded the “Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience” at UCL, a laboratory comprising several researchers who use physiological methods to study cognition. She studies how spatially sensitive neurons encode complex spaces, with a particular focus on two main issues: three dimensional space, and the internal “sense of direction”.

Alongside visual tools, architects use intuition and a well-developed sense of empathy to imagine the experience of another within the environment being created. However, not only are these understandings limited by our subjective disposition, they are also difficult to express to others effectively. Increasingly so, science is creating insights that can augment the architect’s ability to curate an experience. The adoption of new tools from psychology and neuroscience into the architect’s creative process is now a viable and promising opportunity.

Conscious Cities, The Bartlett School of Architecture, and the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience host a series of short talks and a panel debate with researchers at the forefront of creating behavioural insights.

Event: Sensing Space | Behavioural Science for The Built Environment