Category Archives: Architecture

The Case Against All-Glass Facades

The pictures tell the story. And make the case. Biometric studies explain why. At left, is a photo of MassArt Design and Media Center, (c. 2016), a public college of applied art in downtown Boston; at right, the George Wythe … Continue reading

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Empathy in Design: Measuring How Faces Make Places

Since 2015, Ragusa, Sicily has hosted FestiWall, an international art festival devoted to enhancing the public realm and improving citizen engagement with the modern section of an old city. Here are two views of a residential tower before and after … Continue reading

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Empathy in Design: Measuring the Impact of Biophilia

Is home your happy place? Does it make you feel warm and welcome? Now that a pandemic has turned our homes into multipurpose spaces that double as offices, gyms, schools, playgrounds and safe havens from a virus, feelings matter more than … Continue reading

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Why Buildings Need ‘Eyes’

As a social species, we are built to see eyes, so we look for them all the time — everywhere — without conscious awareness or control. When we find them, they grab our attention, anchoring us in space, securing us … Continue reading

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How Boston’s Glassy Seaport Fails + Why It Always Will!

A recent article in the Boston Globe Magazine, 15 Things to Love and 11 Things to Loathe about Boston, labels the newest glassy section of the city “soulless” something people “loathe,” calling Boston’s Seaport District a “bland cityscape, a tract of … Continue reading

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Why eye-track the Mona Lisa? To see your brain at work!

Humans are pattern recognition experts. And looking at Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (c. 1503) below, listed as the world’s most viewed painting,  is a good way to see the pattern we’re most cut out to see. It’s the face, … Continue reading

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‘Ux+Design’ Conference Take-aways: Biometrics Can Tell Us a lot about Buildings …and Ourselves

A good turnout at the 1st International Urban Experience and Design (Ux+Design/2019) conference at Tufts last month, which drew architects, planners, researchers and students from around the world interested in improving the built environment and better understanding our responses to … Continue reading

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Eye-tracking Architecture at Ux+Design/2019 Conference

Thanks to the attendees and presenters at Ux+Design/2019, the 1st International Conference on Urban Experience and Design on April 26 at Tufts University. This conference brought together creative thinkers from around the world who are shaping ‘evidence-based’ design practices, ones … Continue reading

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‘The Postcard Test’ in Copenhagen + beyond

If you want to know which buildings attract people in cities—head to the postcard rack. The postcard above is from Copenhagen by Danish illustrator, Martin Schwartz, who’s created a series that capture “the soul of a city in a single … Continue reading

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A Trip to Tahoe: Walking the California/Nevada Divide

When I asked the concierge for directions to cafes and shops, he told me to walk three blocks to the traffic lights, then turn right to California or left to Nevada. “You’ll see the difference,” he said. Indeed. Little did … Continue reading

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