Category Archives: People-centric Design

Park Benches Where No One Sits

If the goal of the bench is socialization, safety, scenery and shelter, why do these benches face busy streets, blank walls and parking lots? Continue reading

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Posted in Architecture, City Planning, Design, Health, People-centric Design | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Biology, Design, Exercise, Health, People-centric Design, Walkability | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Eye Tracking Architecture: a Pilot Study at the IHCD

In our pilot study at the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), we used eye-tracking technology to understand how people respond to the built environment. Thirty-three test volunteers, aged 18 to 80, viewed more than 60 images of elevations and … Continue reading

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Faces of Japan

Have you ever looked at a house and felt it was looking back? Did the windows, doors and threshold resemble a friendly face? Now that I’m attuned to our subconscious bias for faces, I’m on constant lookout for buildings that … Continue reading

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Planning for People

“First life, then spaces, then buildings–the other way around never works.” Jan Gehl While Boston celebrated the start of the American Revolution on Patriot’s Day this week, the city of Somerville, two miles west, started a different kind of rebellion … Continue reading

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People Need Green Space

In 1970, Joni Mitchell sang “they paved paradise to put up a parking lot” to decry the lack of green space in the built environment. Since then, architects, planners and builders have expanded parking lots, widened highways and removed green … Continue reading

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