Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives
ISBN: 0062996045
EAN13: 9780062996046
Language: English
Pages: 384
Dimensions: 1.00" H x 9.00" L x 6.00" W
Weight: 2.00 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Book Overview
One of the nation's chief architecture critics reveals how the environments we build profoundly shape our feelings, memories, and well-being, and argues that we must harness this knowledge to construct a world better suited to human experience. Taking us on a fascinating journey through some of the world's best and worst landscapes, buildings, and cityscapes, Sarah Williams Goldhagen draws from recent research in cognitive neuroscience and psychology to demonstrate how people's experiences of the places they build are central to their well-being, their physical health, their communal and social lives, and even their very sense of themselves. From this foundation, Goldhagen presents a powerful case that societies must use this knowledge to rethink what and how they build: the world needs better-designed, healthier environments that address the complex range of human individual and social needs. By 2050 America's population is projected to increase by nearly seventy million people. This will necessitate a vast amount of new construction--almost all in urban areas--that will dramatically transform our existing landscapes, infrastructure, and urban areas. Going forward, we must do everything we can to prevent the construction of exhausting, overstimulating environments and enervating, understimulating ones. Buildings, landscapes, and cities must both contain and spark associations of natural light, greenery, and other ways of being in landscapes that humans have evolved to need and expect. Fancy exteriors and dramatic forms are never enough, and may not even be necessary; authentic textures and surfaces, and careful, well-executed construction details are just as important. Erudite, wise, lucidly written, and beautifully illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, Welcome to Your World is a vital, eye-opening guide to the spaces we inhabit, physically and mentally, and a clarion call to design for human experience.
Editor Reviews
From the Back Cover One of the nation's chief architecture critics reveals how the environments we build profoundly shape our feelings, memories, and well-being, and argues that we must harness this knowledge to construct a world better suited to human experience. Taking an illuminating journey around the globe and into the brain, Welcome to Your World reveals that the built environment and its design matter far more than anybody, even architects, ever thought they did. Using cutting-edge research in cognitive neuroscience and environmental psychology, Sarah Williams Goldhagen articulates the ways in which a room, a building, or a city square affects us, and details our reactions to form, pattern, light, color, sound, texture, and more. Expanding on these concepts, she walks us through some of the world's best and worst buildings, landscapes, and cityscapes, from the Parthenon in Athens to One World Trade Center in Manhattan, from Amiens Cathedral in France to Berlin's Holocaust Memorial, from the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris to the 798 Art District in Beijing. Supported by overwhelming evidence and clear-eyed analysis, she concludes that societies must reconsider what and how they build. Put simply: it requires the same resources to construct a building that impairs our capabilities as it does to erect a structure that enhances them. Ultimately the stakes--individual need and collective welfare--could not be higher. Erudite, wise, and beautifully illustrated with more than 150 color photographs, Welcome to Your World is a vital, eye-opening guide to the spaces we inhabit, physically and mentally, and a clarion call to design for human experience.