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Inquiry by Design: Environment/Behavior/Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, and Planning Paperback – February 17, 2006
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“I have rarely read a more fascinating book. Zeisel manages to provide easy-to-understand explanations of novel applications and familiar concepts.”
- The Fulcrum
“What John Zeisel does better than anyone else is to link social science research to design practice.”
- Dr Francis Duffy, RIBA, founder, DEGW Architects and Planners
“This book’s emphasis on the emerging connection between neuroscience, physical environment, and health improvement provides environmental designers with new and important keys to creating better supportive environments for everyone, including people living with Alzheimer’s.”
- Elizabeth Brawley, author of Design Innovations in Aging
“The design community is ripe for a revival of research, especially for ideas and practices that inform design’s contribution to human experience. Zeisel invites us into the tent to inspire us with the biggest idea of all: that neuroscience can help us create places that enhance the performance of our brains.”
- Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director, Adaptive Environments
“This extremely readable yet profound book provides every architect, building client, and policy maker with the practical steps needed to create buildings that ‘work’ and then to learn from both their successes and their mistakes to create even better buildings in the future. Illustrated case studies clearly demonstrate the constructive impact that Zeisel’s approach can have in design practice.”
- Victor Regnier FAIA, professor of architecture and gerontology, University of Southern California
From the Back Cover
What information can social scientists offer designers about the ways in which people and groups with different needs and purposes behave in different settings? And how can designers use this information to best advantage? Illustrating his points with many references to actual projects in North America and Europe, John Zeisel explains, in nontechnical language, the integration of research and design. Sociological, psychological, and anthropological methods can be tailored to address such practical questions as how to keep tourists from getting lost in a city and how to build low-income housing projects that will not be vandalized. A wide audience will find his presentation stimulating and useful. Social scientists will be interested in the potential he describes for the application of their work; designers, architects, landscape architects, and planners will welcome his practical account of how and when, in programming, design review, and evaluation, to undertake environment-behavior research. Inquiry by Design is a lively and provocative text for students in all the fields related to environmental change.
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Top customer reviews
The book used actual research results from a variety of studies to support the hypothesis that architecture and interior design can dramatically improve occupant's well-being. We respond neurologically, psychologically, and physiologically to our environments, and that designers can craft interiors that improve our well-being, including health and longevity.
The book includes a section on observing environmental behavior that gives designers a jump start on the practical application of ethnographic research for interior activities.
I didn't get as much information from this book as I had hoped. That isn't necessarily the author's fault though. The main problem is that the depth of research we need for understanding how to design architecture and interiors for human well-being is limited by both funding and researcher's imaginations. This is probably about the best the book could be written at this time in history.
I would love to recommend this book to all architects and interior designers but I know many and they would never have the patience or interest to get through it. However, there is a small tribe of designers who realize that both professions are sadly lacking in understanding humans in interior environments. If you are in that tribe then this book is a must read. You will help change the world.