Review By Ekaterina KohlwesMindful Design Consulting

Last night I had the pleasure of attending an event organized by Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture. If you have not heard the latest research happening in the area of how architecture affects our subconscious mind, you better tune-in because you will be missing out on the incredible opportunities in utilizing these findings.

Academy of Neuroscience for Architects

Everything around us, our surrounding’s shapes, scale, textures, materials and sounds affect our mood, decision making, health and the level of motivation at any given moment in time.  I was always curious about this subject, trying to use my minimal knowledge on any project I worked on.  Some of the research I have done over the years, traveling and interviewing famous designers’ offices, such as Jean Nouvel and Paul Andreu (Paris, France), I have put into my Master’s Thesis for MA in Architecture.  And some of it I combined into this e-book which is a great resource for any business owner or a designer.  But today is not about me…

Academy of Neurosciense for Architects

Architect Alison Whitelaw (who is fortunately also my former boss at Platt/Whitelaw Architects) presented her speech on how architects see the connection between the two disciplines and what we could learn from the union.

Academy of Neurosciense for Architects

Alison’s speech was quick and straight to the point. We know some spaces make us feel better; can the design be recreated by using scientifically proved laws? You can see some main bullet points of the slides I’ve taken  at the event itself.  Following is what architects know already. I was personally fascinated that the amount of light directly affects the level of receiving information by our brain.  I already knew how different heights of the ceiling can affect us and how different sounds can change human behavior,  but most of our knowledge came from careful observation of existing spaces and human reaction.  Following list is something that scientists are capable of measuring and recording.

Academy of Neurosciense for Architects

At the end we were presented a list of available books to further broaden our knowledge on this subject.  John Eberhard is a co-founder of ANFA and the first person who noticed an amazing phenomena of human relationship with architecture.

Academy of Neurosciense for Architects

To learn more about Academy of Neuroscience for Architects click HERE.

Academy of Neurosciense for Architects

On photo Alison Whitelaw, FAIA LEED ap BD+C, the Senior Principal of the firm Platt/Whitelaw Architects, located in North Park, San Diego, and Eduardo Macagno, PhD, the immediate past president of ANFA, who is also on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego.  Eduardo gave a quick response to Alison’s questions after her speech.  Eduardo raised such questions as:

  • How do you design prisons to promote rehabilitation?  Punishment doesn’t work!
  • How do you design to ease Alzheimer’s?
  • How do we develop a standard to measure a designer’s success?

The event was followed by questions from the audience. We were also given an amazing opportunity to tour the CAVE, a testing facility at the University.  In the CAVE you can experience and measure brain’s activity and reaction in response to the events on subconscious level.  It was a fascinating experience!

UCSD Campus