In lieu of my report on last night’s lecture in Boston by Ann Sussman, hosted by the New England chapter of the ICAA, I am reposting my “Our buildings, ourselves” from last year, which concerns Sussman’s research. Look for a post on last night’s lecture tomorrow.
Details of Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston. (Photo by David Brussat)
Ann Sussman, author with Justin Hollander of Cognitive Architecture, has an article in Planning magazine, “Planning for the Subconscious,” that suggests that the millennia-long evolution of how we shape buildings and places placates the inner urges of our minds and bodies (and hearts).
Or at least it used to. Modern architecture ended that. But now, she writes, advances in our understanding of biology through biometrics “means we can record how people see and feel about their surroundings, not as machines, but as animals keen on connection and ruled by anxieties.” She adds:
Imagine being able to collect real-world, real-time data about emotional habits in the built environment and to definitively answer perennial questions such as why people enjoy walking through miles of a dense urban settings like Manhattan but consistently shun barren landscapes like Boston’s infamously…
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