Books about architecture on the brain?


I have recently gotten super interested in how the design of a building can influence the people in it. For example a curved room with soft edges can lead to a person feeling more creative. I am struggling to find books or a place to study this. Does anyone have any recommendations on books or schools that I can learn from? Thanks! 

Aug 8, 19 4:22 pm
Non Sequitur

how do soft edges influence creativity?

maybe you're struggling to find books because it's all bullshit new-age googlycock?

Aug 8, 19 6:53 pm

Maybe a better example would be how lighting design affects how a person feels in a space, or how the design of an apartment can feel like a prison vs a home. (I've lived in both) I'm trying to get a beer feel of how a room can affect those who live or work in it.

Non Sequitur

That’s way to subjectif and the same space could easily have different effects (or no effect) to 2 different people. You’ll quickly find yourself making broad generalizations just to shoehorn this particular perspective instead of identifying design mechanics with tangible and repeatable effects. Start with the basics of scale and light and work from there. This is (or was in my experience) the first project we did in 1st year undergrad.


Sense and perception. Lots of books on it.

Aug 8, 19 9:23 pm

Thermal delight in architecture might be along the lines of what your looking for

Aug 9, 19 8:59 am

This looks interesting. Thank you!

Thermal Delight is a great little book.

The work of Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) may be relevant.

For an overview see these features

Aug 11, 19 10:30 pm

I've looked into them a little bit before, but they have a lot of information. This is great thanks!


"Welcome to your world" by Sarah WIlliams might be of interest though its pretty repetitive.
"Sapiens" by Noah Harrari is also pretty good though not related to architecture
ANFA is a good resource as the poster above mentioned. They have a lot of videos on youtube.

Unfortunately, once you get into it, the current scientific view on this is too inconclusive to be of any practical use. 

Aug 11, 19 11:11 pm

I have read welcome to your world, and found it interesting. I figured it is inconclusive, but I think it would be interesting to find ways to read specific clients and design for their specific perceptions.

There might be books on it at a library. 

Aug 11, 19 11:53 pm
Non Sequitur

kids don't do libraries anymore. It takes too much time to research tittles, walk around the rows, find the books, read them, etc... They might also need to talk to librarian... the horror.


The science is inconclusive because it involves PERCEPTION which is personal. It will never be conclusive. Just learn the science of sense and perception and stay out of pop psych halls.

Aug 12, 19 9:26 am

Architecture: Form, Space, & Order 

by Francis D. K. Ching (Author)

Aug 12, 19 5:15 pm

Great thanks!


think, feel, judge, act

Aug 13, 19 2:21 pm

It encompasses the whole sphere of your entirety of knowledge and experience


If a designer design something that was adventurous for them you will feel it because you're both humans and I can take it even further and say any animal that fits in the room will feel it

Non Sequitur

Bart: Uh, say, are you guys crooks? 

Tony: Bart, um, is it wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed your starving family? 

Bart: No. 

Tony: Well, suppose you got a large starving family. Is it wrong to steal a truckload of bread to feed them? 

Bart: Uh uh. 

Tony: And, what if your family don't like bread? They like... cigarettes? 

Bart: I guess that's okay. 

Tony: Now, what if instead of giving them away, you sold them at a price that was practically giving them away. Would that be a crime, Bart? 

Bart: Hell, no!


That's a major problem with architecture school that they admit straight out of high school usually in that the students who spent their time learning about the world wouldn't necessarily have the best grades you can't learn to design you can learn to be a great man

Non Sequitur

You can't do either of those things Jawknee... so on what experience do you rely to make such inane claims?

is "learning about the world" code for "write shit-filled song lyrics and invent imaginary physics instead of being a functioning adult"?


The eyes of the skin by Juhani Pallasmaa. Try this

Aug 13, 19 2:45 pm

Have a look at Nikos Salingaros' publications. He's a Mathematician and Architectural Theorist.

Aug 29, 19 8:31 am

The Poetics of Space, by Gaston Bachelard. It's not scientific as your question suggests, but it deals with how we relate to spaces through the images and memories they evoke. It's even available on

Aug 29, 19 12:29 pm

My personal favorite is For An Architecture of Reality by Michael Benedikt. Similar to Thermal Delight in Architecture, but more poeti-philosphical.

Aug 29, 19 1:31 pm

Although they're both very different from each other, maybe try Francis Ching's Architecture: Form, Space, and Order or Paul Keedwell's Headspace: The Psychology of City Living. I haven't read Sally Augustin's Place Advantage: Applied Psychology for Interior Architecture but it looks like it might help.

Sep 29, 19 8:18 pm

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