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Neuroscience, well-being and urban design: our universal attraction to vitality


Colin Ellard, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Waterloo

Wednesday, 17 Feb 2021, 3.00-4.00 pm GMT


Registration link: https://bit.ly/3qhf6BU


There is accelerating interest in using the tools of psychology and neuroscience to understand how urban and architectural design affects human behaviour, emotion, and physiology. In my talk, I will describe several findings from my own work that illustrate the power of such approaches to promote what I’ve called “psychological sustainability.” The common thread that connects these studies is the finding that we are universally attracted to vitality at every scale.


Colin Ellard is the director of the Urban Realities Laboratory at the University of Waterloo in Canada, where he conducts research at the intersection of psychology, neuroscience and design. He has conducted his research both in immersive virtual reality but also at field sites in many different parts of the world, including Toronto, Vancouver, New York City, Berlin, and Mumbai. Ellard describes some of this research in his most recent book, Places of the Heart.


The Martin Centre Research Seminar Series is one of the longest running in the field (51st annual series), and is hosted and supported by the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies; the research arm of the Department of Architecture. The topic for this forthcoming series will frame the discussions around the common ground between theory and practice, with particular focus on ‘Architecture and Energy’. The seminars are informal in format and include a 45-minute talk from the invited speaker, followed by 15-minutes of questions and answers. They are typically well-attended by both staff and students of the Department, as well as members from the wider University and Cambridge community.



Posted on 12/02/2021

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