On average, we spend almost 90% of our time in interior spaces such as homes, offices and public spaces. The physiological impact of these spaces surrounding us can have an impact on our health and well-being as well. Therefore it is vital that work and living environments are well attuned to our individual sensory experience.
How can one find out what works for one person and what works for another? How can we find an average divisor for an indoor climate that works well for almost everyone? And what are important pillars within the design process, if the brain responds differently to external stimuli or influences?
In our most recent webinar, experts Colin Ellard (Neuroscientist, author & design consultant) and Kay Sargent (Director of Workplace, HOK Architects) discuss the human brain and the technical methods of neuroscience that give useful insights to create better indoor environments.
'Architectural atmosphere has implications for behaviour. [...] Images of nature, for example, invoke positive emotion and restore our ability to focus.'
Colin Ellard, neuroscientist, author & design consultant
Colin Ellard is a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo and director of its Urban Realities Laboratory and works at the intersection of urban and architectural design and experimental psychology. He has developed a novel set of methods by which the human response to the built environment can be measured using a toolkit consisting of both traditional psychological methods and sensor-based measurements of physiology and brain function.
He travels widely (until recently!) giving keynotes for groups interested in architecture, design, and planning. Ellard is a member of the advisory committee for the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, an Urban Design and Mental Health Fellow, a Salzburg Global Fellow and an active participant in the European initiative promoting Baukultur beginning with the Davos Declaration of 2018 and continuing with international efforts to enhance the capacity of the built environment to promote wellness.
Ellard’s most recent book is Places of the Heart (Bellevue Literary Press, 2015).
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With 35 years of experience, Kay is a recognized expert on workplace design and strategy issues and an award-winning designer. She is Global Co-Director of HOK’s WorkPlace team and sits on HOK’s Board of Directors. In 2020 she was named ASID’s Designer of Distinction.
Kay currently serves on the AVIXA Board of Directors; ASID’s Foundation Research Taskforce; George Washington University Advisory Council; the IWBI Mind Advisory Team and the Advisory Boards for I+S and WorkDesign magazines. She has also served on the International Boards of CoreNet Global; IFI - International Federation of Interior Designers /Architect; ASID; NCQLP and the Advisory Boards of Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design and NVCC. She is a co-founder of the IFMA Workplace Evoluntionaries and serves on their Executive Committee.
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