Refreshing the Design Process: Weaving Neuroscience and Psychology into Architecture

Brooks, Massey
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2015]
Architects develop an understanding of many topics that are closely related to architecture, design, and the construction industry. There is a need, however, for architects to be exposed to more information within the fields of psychology and neuroscience. This research finds the gaps in the architectural design process that can benefit from these additional disciplines. It translates, or makes more accessible, relevant topics in psychology and neuroscience. Then, it develops a 'process web' that lays out these topics in an understandable format that shows potential overlaps and opportunities for architects to apply in their design process. In addition to this process web, this research expounds on the topic of mirror neurons. The introduction of this topic offers keys for an architect to understand how a person perceives or experiences comfort, empathy, and understanding within an architectural space. These findings suggest that an architect has the ability to trigger positive responses in the user of a building by applying principles of mirror neuron research by way of their architectural design. The ability to accomplish this can be a very helpful skill for the architect as the goal is always to design and provide the best possible space for those who utilize the architecture.
D.Arch. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2015.
Includes bibliographical references.
Architecture, Neuroscience, Psychology, Mirror Neuron, Design
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