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Some Place Like Home: Using Design Psychology to Create Ideal Places Paperback – December 19, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0470849507 ISBN-10: 0470849509 Edition: 1st

Price: $6.99
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Paperback, December 19, 2003
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Academy Press; 1 edition (December 19, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470849509
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470849507
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,687,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Some Place Like Home....considered the bible of the field." (LA Times, March 15, 2007)

"…explores a new field of work…features exercises so readers can analyse their own past…" (Design Week, December 2003)

"…an extraordinary book, intellectually written…includes thought-provoking exercises…will make you a believer…" (Design Management Review, Spring 2004)

From the Back Cover

Defined as "the practice of architecture, planning and interior design in which psychology is the principal design tool", the purpose of Design Psychology is to create environments that reflect the individual or group as well as encourage positive change.

Some Place Like Home introduces the new field of Design Psychology, using in-depth interviews with design superstars Michael Graves, Andres Duany and Charles Jencks to examine how places from the past contain the seeds of future choices – for home locations, dwellings and interior design.

The Design Psychology Exercises used to delve into the ‘environmental autobiographies’ of Graves, Jencks and Duany can in turn be used by readers, themselves, to explore their own environmental treasure chests.

The last portion of the book focuses on the practical application of Design Psychology by showing examples of residential, corporate and institutional projects created via the Design Psychology process. A Design Psychology Toolbox, provided at the end of the book, gives readers hands-on programming exercises they can use to explore and design from their most fulfilling inner experiences.

This is a groundbreaking, ‘must read’ book for anyone seeking to create an ideal environment that feels "Some Place Like Home".

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Maria on December 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is wonderfully written and easily understood by those directly and indirectly involved with interior design and architecture. The author, Toby Israel, leads you through her pioneering ideas behind design psychology with an interesting format that includes narration, interviews and exercises. You'll discover how your own past history of place - where you grew up, the type of home you lived in and even where you went to school - can affect choices you make regarding dwellings and workplaces now and in your future.
The exercises throughout the book help readers uncover influences from their past and can help them create successful environments for themselves or for clients. This book is a must have for anyone seeking to create satisfying designs with tools we inherently possess but too often ignore.
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47 of 58 people found the following review helpful By James Preston on December 13, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm rarely uncertain about my reviews but I am with this one. I've gone through Toby's recommended process of discovery and I think it is partially valid but either incomplete or on the wrong track. Her questionnaires and analysis of past experiences with "home" are the basis of her theory and book.

From Martin Seligman's Authentic Happiness "It is difficult to find even small effects of childhood events on adult personality, and there is no evidence at all of large effects." (I happen to be reading this article with this quote, I haven't read the book yet: [...])

I just don't see a childhood environment influence in my design preferences. I suspect that we are influenced much more by what we are exposed to that we remember. If a child sees a dome in a house and happens to remember 30 years later that a dome can be used in a house design then that designer is more likely to use a dome. My understanding of Toby's theory is that the designer would use a dome feature if they had a happy environment with a dome in the home in their previous experience. I see this as more coincidental than part of the psychological make-up of the designer.

I grew up in an old California mining town and my parent's house had bats in the attic. The bats were amusing but I don't recall the urge to design my homes with accomodations for bats.

An Amazon review is no place to get into a full academic discussion but I believe I've seen enough decent research that works against her theory and that my personal experience combined with her approach does not work at all. It would take a book to refute her theory properly but at least don't accept it without question.

What value has this book, theory, and process to architectural and interior design?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By V. N. Holmes on August 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Using interviews with well known architects, Toby israel demonstrates how early memories of architectural spaces are reflected in later work. Personally i always thought the spaces I lived in determined my architectural preferences, and this book shows in a systematic way just that. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is curious about architecture and psychology and memory.
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