Archinect - News 2017-08-16T11:11:44-04:00 When designing for mental health, how far can architects go? Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-09-19T13:23:00-04:00 >2016-09-22T23:01:11-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="432" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>&ldquo;Genetics, early experiences, family relationships and social settings can&rsquo;t be addressed through urban design,&rdquo; McCay explains. &ldquo;But urban design can and should play a role, just as it does for physical disorders, which have equally complex causes.&rdquo; [...] But experts believe guidelines for healthy urban environments are currently failing to take this growing awareness into consideration. [...] &ldquo;understanding of these issues is not yet mainstream&rdquo; in the architectural community.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Layla McCay, director of the Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health, outlines the various ways urban design and mental health intersect:</p><p></p><p>Check out more videos from UDMH on <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">their website</a>.</p><p>For more news on urban psychology:</p><ul><li><a title="Measured Genius: One-to-One #29 with Pierluigi Serraino, author of 'The Creative Architect'" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Measured Genius: One-to-One #29 with Pierluigi Serraino, author of 'The Creative Architect'</a></li><li><a title="The high psychological cost we pay for boring buildings" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The high psychological cost we pay for boring buildings</a></li><li><a title="Putting entire cities on the psychiatrist's couch" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Putting entire cities on the psychiatrist's couch</a></li><li><a title='Designing and understanding the "Happy City"' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Designing and understanding the "Happy City"</a></li></ul> What drives creativity among architects? Julia Ingalls 2016-07-13T14:48:00-04:00 >2016-07-17T19:41:33-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="581" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>What makes a person creative? What are the biographical conditions and personality traits necessary to actualize that potential? These were driving questions behind&nbsp;a 1958-59 study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, which attempted to divine the elements of creativity by analyzing and interviewing several prominent architects of the time, including <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Mies van der Rohe</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Charles Eames</a>, Gregory Ain, and <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Quincy Jones</a>. The architects were also encouraged to rate each other. Bottom line? Richard Neutra "has intellect" while Mies Van Der Rohe was considered to be "a great sculptor"&nbsp;although "human comfort is disregarded."&nbsp;</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>The study languished in obscurity until this&nbsp;year&nbsp;when <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Pierluigi Serraino published <em>The Creative Architect</em> (and spoke about it on Archinect's 1:1 podcast)</a>.&nbsp;On reading the book, Steven Holl commented:&nbsp;&ldquo;We now know that childlike wonder, an absence of fear, and strong intuition are key aspects of creativity.&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>The Creative Architect</em></a>&nbsp;is a thought-provoking and ...</p> Measured Genius: One-to-One #29 with Pierluigi Serraino, author of 'The Creative Architect' Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2016-06-27T13:16:00-04:00 >2016-06-30T16:54:57-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="421" border="0" title="" alt="" /><p>In the late 1950s, some of the world's most prominent architects gathered in Berkeley, California, to take part in a landmark psychological experiment on creativity and personality. Eero Saarinen, Philip Johnson, Richard Neutra, William Pereira and dozens of other architects were put through a barrage of tests and surveys, to gain a better understanding of what creativity is, and its place in architecture. They also rated one another, and in the process exposed not only exposed their egos honestly, but also their insecurities.</p><p>For the first time, the story behind the study (along with its data and results) have been made public, in&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><em>The Creative Architect</em></a>, by architect and author Pierluigi&nbsp;Serraino. I spoke with Serraino about the context of psychological research in the 1950s and the evolving personality behind being a &ldquo;creative&rdquo; architect.</p><p>Listen to&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">One-to-One</a>&nbsp;#29 with&nbsp;<strong>Pierluigi Serraino</strong>:</p><ul><li><strong>iTunes</strong>:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Click here to listen&nbsp;and subscribe to the new&nbsp;"Archinect Sessions One-to-One" podcast</a></li><li><strong>Soun...</strong></li></ul> The high psychological cost we pay for boring buildings Alexander Walter 2016-04-12T20:24:00-04:00 >2016-05-03T00:29:12-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="432" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Boring architecture may take an emotional toll on the people forced to live in and around it. A growing body of research in cognitive science illuminates the physical and mental toll bland cityscapes exact on residents. Generally, these researchers argue that humans are healthier when they live among variety &mdash; a cacophony of bars, bodegas, and independent shops &mdash; or work in well-designed, unique spaces, rather than unattractive, generic ones.</p></em><br /><br /><p>Related stories in the Archinect news:</p><ul><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Putting entire cities on the psychiatrist's couch</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Getting Neural: Van Alen hosts "How Does the Brain Respond to the City?"</a></li><li><a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">The Quest to Measure the Brain's Response to Urban Design</a></li></ul> Putting entire cities on the psychiatrist's couch Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2015-07-01T12:59:00-04:00 >2015-07-05T08:57:29-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Rule No. 1 for long life: Stay active, keep the blood flowing. Rule No. 1 for urban planning: Never close an artery.</p></em><br /><br /><p>It's well known that strong social ties can benefit an individual's mental health. Investment in a community can help people to cope with the stress of traumatic events, physical disability, aging, and simply the everyday banal. Cities, the natural biomes of most humans, then become a strong influencer of community and individual psychologies.</p><p>This fascinating&nbsp;<em>New York Times</em>&nbsp;piece looks at the career of Mindy Thompson Fullilove, a psychiatrist whose work with entire cities imagines them as a functioning body &ndash; one that needs all its parts to remain connected and coordinated in order to thrive.</p><p><img title="" alt="" src=""></p><p>For more on the psychology of urban environments:</p><ul><li><a title='Getting Neural: Van Alen hosts "How Does the Brain Respond to the City?"' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Getting Neural: Van Alen hosts "How Does the Brain Respond to the City?"</a></li><li><a title='Developing an "urban neuroscience" to build better cities' href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Developing an "urban neuroscience" to build better cities</a></li><li><a title="Study Links Walkable Neighborhoods to Prevention of Cognitive Decline" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Study Links Walkable Neighborhoods to Prevention of Cognitive Decline</a></li><li><a title="Inside the Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia" href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Inside the Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia</a></li></ul> Creativity is rejected: Teachers and bosses don’t value out-of-the-box thinking Archinect 2013-12-12T20:48:00-05:00 >2013-12-16T20:47:45-05:00 <img src="" width="590" height="590" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don&rsquo;t actually like it. Studies confirm what many creative people have suspected all along: People are biased against creative thinking, despite all of their insistence otherwise. &ldquo;We think of creative people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but the thing we celebrate is the after-effect,&rdquo; says Barry Staw, a researcher at the University of California&ndash;Berkeley business school who specializes in creativity.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Designing and understanding the "Happy City" Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2013-12-09T20:24:00-05:00 >2013-12-16T19:14:41-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="976" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>"For years, urban designers and architects have claimed happiness as their goal," Montgomery says. "And yet none of the claims have been supported by empirical evidence. Which isn't to say they're not right. It's just to say that we don't know. That we haven't known." In this spirit of empirical discovery, Montgomery takes readers around the world in search of the places where urban design has (and has not) improved quality-of-life.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Human behavior can be extremely difficult to quantify, and determining its exact context even harder. But some cities just seem happier than others, no matter how difficult that status is to qualify. In his book, <em>Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design</em>, Charles Montgomery tries to create an empirical basis for that causal link between happiness and urban design, through case studies of cities where those two concepts are clearly intertwined. Montgomery spoke with Eric Jaffe at&nbsp;<em>The Atlantic Cities&nbsp;</em>about his research for the book, and how we measure happiness.</p> <p> Sensitive to the fact that what works in Bogot&aacute; might not fly in Oslo, Montgomery is not out to find hard-and-fast rules for happiness. He instead wants to tease out methods of urban design that civic governments may use to become more sensitive, responsive and accountable to their citizens' well-being.</p> Do these buildings turn you on? The psychology of curvy architecture Archinect 2013-11-26T12:34:00-05:00 >2013-11-27T10:12:16-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="381" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Oshin Vartanian and his colleagues slipped a group of people inside a brain-scanning machine and flashed hundreds of interior designs -- some curvy, some angular -- in front of them. They then had the choice of describing each room as either "beautiful" or "not beautiful." The study found that participants overwhelmingly preferred interior spaces with curving coffee tables, meandering sofas and winding floor patterns to rooms filled with angular furniture and rectilinear design.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> The Psychology of Online Comments Archinect 2013-10-25T15:59:00-04:00 >2013-10-28T20:23:17-04:00 <img src="" width="580" height="442" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>the nastier the comments, the more polarized readers became about the contents of the article, a phenomenon they dubbed the &ldquo;nasty effect.&rdquo; But the nasty effect isn&rsquo;t new, or unique to the Internet. Psychologists have long worried about the difference between face-to-face communication and more removed ways of talking&mdash;the letter, the telegraph, the phone. Without the traditional trappings of personal communication, like non-verbal cues, context, and tone, comments can become overly impersonal...</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> UCLA's Patricia Greenfield Tracks Urban Psychology With Words Amelia Taylor-Hochberg 2013-08-13T18:21:00-04:00 >2013-08-19T21:10:33-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="260" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>As a society slowly urbanizes over time, its psychology and culture change, too... If American culture and psychology grew more individualistic as the country urbanized, wouldn't that transformation be clear in the words from American books (and the concepts that lie behind them)?</p></em><br /><br /><p> Urban and rural environments impact personal psychology differently, according to research published by UCLA psychologist Patricia Greenfield in&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Psychological Science</a>. While observational evidence may draw a clear line between current city- and country-mindsets, Greenfield's source material draws on data from over 200 years of publishing in the United States. Using <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Google Books Ngram Viewer</a>, Greenfield tracked English words that refer to certain trends or larger ideas, such as "obliged" vs. "choose", to see if urbanization accompanies a more individualistic mentality. It's given that a word's frequency of use will change over time, but seeing how that frequency correlates with urbanization is an exciting metric for the collective urban unconscious.</p> Why We Love Beautiful Things Archinect 2013-02-27T19:03:00-05:00 >2013-02-27T19:03:22-05:00 <img src="" width="600" height="456" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>window views of landscapes, research shows, can speed patient recovery in hospitals, aid learning in classrooms and spur productivity in the workplace. In studies of call centers, for example, workers who could see the outdoors completed tasks 6 to 7 percent more efficiently than those who couldn&rsquo;t, generating an annual savings of nearly $3,000 per employee.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> After Newtown, Architects Weigh School Design Changes Archinect 2012-12-22T17:46:00-05:00 >2012-12-30T18:33:10-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="433" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Mark Simon, a founding partner of Centerbrook Architects and Planners, agrees. &ldquo;I think [bars and other fortifying techniques] send the wrong message to both kids and teachers,&rdquo; he says. Based in Centerbrook, Connecticut, Simon has designed 20 school buildings, including five public elementary schools, though none in Newtown. &ldquo;Buildings tell stories, and when a building is designed that way, it tells you that it doesn&rsquo;t trust you. And kids intuit that they&rsquo;re not trusted,&rdquo; he says.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> Mindy Fullilove Named AIA Public Director Archinect 2012-10-10T11:42:00-04:00 >2012-10-10T11:44:53-04:00 <img src="" width="314" height="211" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Dr. Fulliove is a research psychiatrist at New York State University Psychiatric Institute and professor of clinical psychiatry and public health at Columbia University. In her role with the AIA Board she will share her insights gained from studying the problems of American cities from a psychiatric perspective.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> A Study on Job Seekers' Mental Health Archinect 2012-05-04T20:00:00-04:00 >2012-05-04T20:52:17-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="464" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>According to a new study led by Connie Wanberg, a University of Minnesota professor of organizational and work behavior, the average laid-off worker experiences a gradual improvement in mental health until the 10- to 12-week mark, when the trend reverses. The study found that those participants who reported better mental health tended to conduct more intense job searches, increasing their likelihood of landing jobs.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Here, <a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">take a happy pill</a>.</p> How Roger Thomas Redesigned Las Vegas Archinect 2012-03-19T11:29:00-04:00 >2012-03-19T11:29:46-04:00 <img src="" width="650" height="496" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Wynn&rsquo;s hotels are famous for having brought a luxurious, five-star approach to Vegas. But their real achievement may be psychological: they have remade the architecture of gaming itself. The received wisdom of modern casino design was codified by a former gambling addict named Bill Friedman in his book &ldquo;Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition.&rdquo;</p></em><br /><br /><p> Jonah Lehrer pens a piece in this week&rsquo;s issue of the New Yorker, in which he visits Roger Thomas, the head of design at Wynn Resorts, who has revolutionized casino design in Las Vegas.</p> Seeing the Building for the Trees Nam Henderson 2012-01-08T23:32:00-05:00 >2012-01-09T22:51:33-05:00 <img src="" width="650" height="566" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>A REVOLUTION in cognitive neuroscience is changing the kinds of experiments that scientists conduct, the kinds of questions economists ask and, increasingly, the ways that architects, landscape architects and urban designers shape our built environment. This revolution reveals that thought is less transparent to the thinker than it appears and that the mind is less rational than we believe and more associative than we know.</p></em><br /><br /><p> Architecture critic, Sarah Williams Goldhagen wrote a brief piece exploring the use&nbsp; of embodied metaphors in contemporary architecture. Looking at recent works by Junya Ishigami, J&uuml;rgen Mayer H., Zaha Hadid and Sanaa for instance, Goldhagen notes that the use of metaphors that allude to trees, river-like space or a habitable mountain-scape, is on the rise. While the possibilities of the ongoing revolution in our understanding of human cognition and their potential for shaping the design of our built environment are unknown she believes that the employment of such metaphors in such projects "<strong>point toward how the built environment could &mdash; and should &mdash; be radically reconceptualized around the fundamental workings of the human mind.</strong>"</p> Commercial architecture’s similarity across nation provides mobile Americans with a sense of stability, study says Alexander Walter 2011-09-23T14:11:38-04:00 >2011-11-24T09:05:52-05:00 <img src="" width="296" height="297" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Perhaps you have noticed that commercial architecture lining roads in Maryland and Virginia looks more or less the same and not much different from strip malls and boxy stores lining roads in Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, Ohio or Oregon. [...] Why do housing developments and retail shopping facilities look so much alike, given how much Americans value individuality, freedom of expression and independence?</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html> An Illusion of Familiarity Archinect 2011-07-19T18:06:42-04:00 >2011-07-21T10:51:56-04:00 <img src="" width="425" height="283" border="0" title="" alt="" /><em><p>Based upon the woman's story and Moulin's research, Mabon and Hayes constructed a film-style set for the chronic d&eacute;j&agrave; vu sufferer, complete with marks on the floors, visual instructions and specially-designed objects. They also created a very detailed schedule to give a feeling of continuity and help the woman go through the day with as few surprises (hence risks of d&eacute;j&agrave; vu) as possible.</p></em><br /><br /><!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html><head><meta></head></html>