This is Your Brain on Architecture


things are getting nerdy around here.

A month or so ago, an article made it’s way around the G+Y offices that gave rise to thought-provoking discussion. It was an interview from CITYLAB , titled “This is Your Brain on Architecture“, and it looked at why some buildings elicit strong connective reactions from us, and why some, despite their best efforts, don’t

Sarah Williams Goldhagen, who wrote a book on the topic, was on the answering end of the Q&A. During the interview she talks about discovering how and why our physical environments impact us far more than we (and she) ever thought possible.

Goldhagen notably cites a study done by Colin Ellard, that measured variable responses by people as they interacted with different built environments. The study showed that when people walked past “boring” or “generic” buildings, they actually registered higher levels of stress (cortisol) than when they walked by more interesting buildings that provided more ways for them to visually engage with their physical landscape.

“…There’s no such thing as a neutral environment”
-Sarah Williams Goldhagen