Category Archives: Biology

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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O-x-y-t-o-c-i-n: The 8-letter Word Every Architect Should Know

What are attributes of great design? It draws the eye. And you delight in taking it in—no matter your age, background or the times you live in. The buildings wordlessly beckon. But how? Turns out to understand why great buildings … Continue reading

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Wellness Walls: A Look at Leaves and their Long-lasting Allure

Last week’s GreenBuild/ ABX2017Expo in Boston boasted a mind-boggling 550+ exhibitors and 75+ product categories focused on sustainable building—from insulation to solar panels. As the escalator descended to the 12-acre exhibit space, I felt that Robin Williams’ Moscow on Hudson … Continue reading

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The Genetics of Garden Design

Architecture is not just about houses and buildings—it’s also about gardens and landscapes. In the Genetics of Design, we write about how design affects biology and how biology affects design. Well-designed spaces make people feel comfortable and safe. They mesh … Continue reading

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The Primal Vista: Why We Crave Water Views

Every summer, Mark and I reserve one vacation week for a trip to the quaint Cape Cod town of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. No chateau in Chinon, palazzo in Paris or castle in Cardiff, just a few rooms with a view—an ocean view. Like many … Continue reading

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Following Fractals

“God is in the details.” – Ludwig Mies van der Rohe As New England emerged from a record-breaking snowy winter, I watched trees blossom overnight into intricate patterns against a blue sky. Without thinking, I grabbed my iPhone and pointed … Continue reading

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