“Genetics, early experiences, family relationships and social settings can’t be addressed through urban design,” McCay explains. “But urban design can and should play a role, just as it does for physical disorders, which have equally complex causes.” [...]
But experts believe guidelines for healthy urban environments are currently failing to take this growing awareness into consideration. [...]
“understanding of these issues is not yet mainstream” in the architectural community. — theguardian.com
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 — a cacophony of bars, bodegas, and independent shops — or work in well-designed, unique spaces, rather than unattractive, generic ones. — nymag.com
Rule No. 1 for long life: Stay active, keep the blood flowing. Rule No. 1 for urban planning: Never close an artery. — nytimes.com
This is the thing about creativity that is rarely acknowledged: Most people don’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.
“We think of creative people in a heroic manner, and we celebrate them, but the thing we celebrate is the after-effect,” says Barry Staw, a researcher at the University of California–Berkeley business school who specializes in creativity. — slate.com
"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. — The Atlantic Cities
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, Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design, Charles Montgomery tries to...
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. — cnn.com
the nastier the comments, the more polarized readers became about the contents of the article, a phenomenon they dubbed the “nasty effect.” But the nasty effect isn’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—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... — newyorker.com
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)? — The Atlantic Cities
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’t, generating an annual savings of nearly $3,000 per employee. — nytimes.com
Mark Simon, a founding partner of Centerbrook Architects and Planners, agrees. “I think [bars and other fortifying techniques] send the wrong message to both kids and teachers,” he says. Based in Centerbrook, Connecticut, Simon has designed 20 school buildings, including five public elementary schools, though none in Newtown. “Buildings tell stories, and when a building is designed that way, it tells you that it doesn’t trust you. And kids intuit that they’re not trusted,” he says. — archrecord.construction.com
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. — aia.org
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. — online.wsj.com
Wynn’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 “Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition.” — The New Yorker
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