On “Cognitive Architecture”

event-cognitive-architecture-254x400Ann Sussman will be in Boston on Tuesday evening to discuss her book Cognitive Architecture. She will speak at an event sponsored by the New England chapter of the Insitute of Classical Architecture & Art beginning at 6 in the College Club of Boston, at 44 Commonwealth Ave. More details and reservations are here.

Since I’ve been immersing myself in this subject via the work of Nikos Salingaros and Michael Mehaffy, whose recent book Design for a Living Planet I reviewed here, I am eager to hear Ms. Sussman, who wrote her book along with Justin Hollander. It is subtitled “Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment.”

Here is how the ICAA chapter website’s event calendar describes the book, published by Routledge: It “reveals the subconscious tendencies at work when we navigate the world around us. These ‘hidden’ predispositions reflect our long evolutionary trip as revealed by recent research in psychology and neuroscience, and can help explain why we favor certain urban conditions and building configurations and shun others.”

I can’t believe I am unfamiliar with Sussman’s book. Well, not for long.

Dark cloud: Amazon has a blurb praising the book by Moshe Safdie. Uh-oh. I am braced. I read stuff that contradicts my views all the time, but I don’t expect that from the ICAA. Can it be that Safdie is broad minded or just wrote a blurb because he looked at the subject of the book and assumed that it reflects the fraudulent way modernists hitch their work to science when they know nothing about science at all. Well, again, Tuesday evening we shall see.

About David Brussat

This blog was begun in 2009 as a feature of the Providence Journal, where I was on the editorial board and wrote a weekly column of architecture criticism for three decades. Architecture Here and There fights the style wars for classical architecture and against modern architecture, no holds barred. History Press asked me to write and in August 2017 published my first book, "Lost Providence." I am now writing my second book. My freelance writing on architecture and other topics addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy, dbrussat@gmail.com, or call 401.351.0457. Testimonial: "Your work is so wonderful - you now enter my mind and write what I would have written." - Nikos Salingaros, mathematician at the University of Texas, architectural theorist and author of many books.
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4 Responses to On “Cognitive Architecture”

  1. Adam Bonosky says:

    I saw the event poster via email and wish I could be there. As a result, I have gone out and bought the book and am looking forward to learning from it. Hello to all from FL!


  2. Eric Inman Daum says:

    David, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Ann is a former colleague of mine and her thesis reinforces many points you have been making for a long time.


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