Beauty: Lifting the Spirits and Delighting the Senses

When:  Dec 9, 2021 from 02:00 PM to 03:30 PM (ET)
Beauty: Lifting the Spirits and Delighting the Senses

Join us for this unique conversation with Dr. Eve Edelstein, research director of the Human Experience Lab at Perkins + Will and Thomas Albright, Professor and Director Vision Center Laboratory Salk Institute, where we'll explore the concept of beauty from two perspectives in neuroscience and the natural and built environment. As the concept of beauty and aesthetics finds its way back into the AIA Framework for Design Excellence principles, it sets the stage for thought provoking questions such as:

  • How can architecture engage the senses and connect people to place?
  • What makes a project one that endures over time, one that people will unite around and preserve?
  • How might our designs benefit from key findings in neuroscience to enhance the human experience with a sense of delight, wonder, lingering, learning, and compassion.

As we strive to achieve in architecture - what is not yet fully known about the human capacity for beauty and neurodiversity - we can discover together as new possibilities for the future.

Eve is one of the pioneers of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture and a Board member. Dr. Eve Edelstein, F-AAA is Co-Founder of Clinicians for Design an international research-based design consultancy and Scientific Advisor to TUNED / Lombardini 22, Italy. Eve developed the first Neuroscience for Architecture curricula with ANFA, NSAD, UCSD and others. Research-based design projects include the AIA COVID-19 Front Line Task Force Guidelines, the Latrobe Prize circadian light study, psycho-acoustic studies with Stanford University, universal design for the Berkeley Prize with San Diego State University, and 4D VR visuo-acoustic CAVE-CAD systems with UCSD. Eve's design contributions include the Good Design is Good Business Award for office places and award-winning projects for the University of Cincinnati Gardner Neuroscience Institute with Perkins & Will, the First People's Hospital in China with HMC Architects, and the UCSD Jacobs Medical Center. Eve completed a Ph.D. with the Institute of Neurology, University College London, a Master of Architecture in Design at NewSchool of Architecture and Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology at University California Berkeley.

Thomas Albright is revealing how the brain enables humans to perceive and behave in a world of varying sensory demands. By combining physiological, neurological, and computational studies, he studies what happens to the brain’s ability to choose attention-worthy details when the environment changes (paying more attention to a kangaroo on a city street than in the Australian outback, for example). The visual system, he’s found, has a filter that determines which stimuli— from a kangaroo to a tree—reach the brain’s visual processing area in the first place. He’s also pinpointed how sets of neurons in the visual cortex are more or less sensitive than others in different environments to allow for this shift in attention. Aside from better understanding disease, Albright’s work can inform how the memory of visual information can be distorted, as well as how to build environments and architecture that encourage learning, productivity and healing.