Thu, 9 July 2020
JHK chats with architect and neuroscientist Ann Sussman about our damaged everyday surroundings of buildings, streets, and cities in the USA — and how they got that way.
Ann Sussman, RA, is passionate about understanding the human experience of the built environment. Her book, Cognitive Architecture, Designing for How We Respond to the Built Environment (Routledge, 2015) co-authored with Justin B. Hollander, won the Place Research Award from the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) in 2016. Her new book, Urban Experience & Design: Contemporary Perspectives on Improving the Public Realm, (Routledge 2020) also co-edited with Hollander, is due out in October. It explores the role PTSD — specifically veterans' brain trauma post-WWI — had in creating Modern Architecture. Ann believes new understandings from neuroscience on how the brain works and what humans need to see to be at their best, will transform architecture, including the narrative of how Modern Architecture came to be. Ann recently co-founded the non-profit The Human Architecture + Planning Institute, Inc (theHapi.org) to help people better understand how humans experience buildings. She currently teaches a new course on perception called Architecture & Cognition, at the Boston Architectural College (BAC). She blogs on the biology behind design that delights at GeneticsofDesign.com.