Conscious Cities Conference No. 2

Bridging Neuroscience, Architecture, and Technology

Conscious Cities Conference No. 2:
Bridging Neuroscience, Architecture and Technology
is a full-day event, taking place on Wednesday, 03 May 2017 (9:00 to 18:00) at One Sekforde Street, London.

Our previous conference examined the relationship between neuroscience and architecture. This year’s conference will disseminate and unify the different industries and elements needed to build a Conscious City, that is responsive to human activity and needs.

The day will open with keynote speakers representing: Neuroscience, Architecture, and the intersection of both.

From there, the conference will address four themes, each presented and discussed by a panel of experts from academia and industry (detailed further below):

  1. What Does Neuroscience Teach Us About the Built Environment?
  2. How Can We Use High Technology in the Built Environment?
  3. Creating Conscious Design: How Does Behavioural Insight Affect Architecture and Planning?
  4. Building a Conscious City: The Role of Governance and Industry.

A printed publication – Conscious Cities Anthology No.2 – will be given to all conference attendees. It will contain papers and thought pieces by the conference speakers.

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Conference Thematics

What Does Neuroscience Teach Us About the Built Environment?

For the past 15 years neuroscience has been instrumental in discovering how the built environment, specifically cities affect the people who inhabit them. We now understand, for example, that a correlation exists between urban environments and stress, resulting in spectrum of mental disorders. In this section we will be discussing the latest in neuroscience research in the built environment.

How Can We Use High Technology in the Built Environment?

Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality are significantly impacting how we design, imagine, and use the built environment. This theme will explore these emerging technologies as well as other high tech tools; low carbon, model simulators, and computer software like depthmapX. We will debate the goals of technology and how it can facilitate the creation of more empathetic, dynamic, and adaptable spaces.

Creating Conscious Design: How Does Behavioural Insight Affect Architecture and Planning?

Whilst the concept of Conscious Design has been newly coined, there are already many examples of industry professionals creating spaces and places with greater awareness towards their users’ needs. In this theme we will be exploring case studies which use behavioural insight, new tools, and technology to implement conscious design elements.

Building a Conscious City: The Role of Governance and Industry

How do policies and market forces affect the built environment? We will be addressing issues concerning professional responsibility, confidentiality, consent, risk and vulnerability. What are the key considerations of decision-makers and how do those relate to creating a better built environment?

View the publication of our 2016 conference. Conscious Cities Anthology No.1: Architecture and Neuroscience

Read the latest issue of the Conscious Cities Journal


Speakers Include

Prof Colin Ellard

Neuroscientist, author and design consultant working at the intersection of psychology and architectural and urban design. Colin is the author of ‘Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life’, exploring how homes, workplaces, cities and nature influence the brain and body.

Matthias Hollwich

Co-founder of architecture firm Hollwish Kushner, and author of ‘New Ageing: Live Smarter Now to Live Better Forever’. Matthias is devoted to finding ways in which living spaces and communities can be shaped to make ageing a graceful and fulfilling aspect of life.

Alison Brooks is recognised as one of the leading architects of her generation. Since establishing Alison Brooks Architects in 1996, she has attracted international acclaim for her work in urban design, housing, buildings for the arts and higher education. Her approach, based on research into the specific social, cultural and physical contexts of each project has led to a portfolio of award-winning architecture. She is the only UK architect to have received all three of the RIBA’s most prestigious architectural awards; the Manser Medal, Stephen Lawrence and Stirling Prizes.

Prof Moshe Bar

Neuroscientist and director of the Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University and professor at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital. A co-author of ‘A Manifesto for Conscious Cities’, arguing that data, technology and planning techniques can be used to improve our built environment.

Ruth is an alumna of University College London. As a licensed architect, she has worked for Foster and Partners (London) and Sheppard Robson Corgan Architects (London) and key projects upon which she has worked include the Carré d’Art de Nîmes, in France, the Palaçio de Congresos in Valencia, Spain, and the Kings Cross International Terminal (unbuilt). She has taught at the Architectural Association, London, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA and the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Dr Hugo Spiers

Hugo is a Reader in Neuroscience at UCL, Group Leader of the UCL Spatial Cognition Group and Director in Science at The Centric Lab. Hugo is interested in how the brain constructs representations of the world and uses them to recall the past, navigate the present and imagine the future. His research group uses functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), virtual reality, electrophysiology and neuropsychology.

Prof Kate Jeffrey

Prof Kate Jeffery is a neuroscientist researching how the brain makes an internal representation of space. Kate founded the “Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience” at UCL, a laboratory comprising several researchers who use physiological methods to study cognition. She studies how spatially sensitive neurons encode complex spaces, with a particular focus on two main issues: three dimensional space, and the internal “sense of direction”.

Ben Derbyshire was elected as president of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) in 2016 on a platform of change. His term will run for two years from September 2017. He is Chair of HTA Design LLP, a design consultancy to the home building industry, practicing ‘creative collaboration’ in a range of professional and other disciplines.

Dr Joanna J. Bryson

Joanna J. Bryson is a transdisciplinary researcher on the structure and dynamics of human- and animal-like intelligence. Her research covers topics ranging from artificial intelligence, through autonomy and robot ethics, and on to human cooperation. She has professional research experience from Oxford, Harvard, and LEGO, and technical experience in Chicago’s financial industry. Bryson is presently a Reader (associate professor) at the University of Bath, and an affiliate of Princeton’s Center for Information Technology Policy.

Patricia Brown

Patricia Brown is Director of Central, a niche consultancy largely centred on the dynamics of cities and the process of achieving change. Additionally Patricia is currently Chair of London Festival of Architecture, Vice Chair of the British Property Federation’s Development Committee and until May, was Deputy Chair of the Mayor’s Design Advisory Group, helping to lead its “Good Growth Agenda”. Patricia works across the UK, as well as New York where she is an adviser to Times Square Alliance and a consultant to Columbia University’s Centre for Urban Real Estate.

Scott Cain

Scott is the Chief Business Officer of Future Cities Catapult. Future Cities Catapult’s mission is to advance urban innovation, to grow UK companies, and to make cities better. Future Cities Catapult brings together businesses, universities and city leaders so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that cities face. From our Urban Innovation Centre in London, Future Cities Catapult provides world-class facilities and expertise to support the development of new products and services, as well as opportunities to collaborate with others, test ideas and develop business models.

Juliette Morgan

Juliette works as Partner in the Global Technology Practice at Cushman & Wakefield and is based in London. She is a property technology specialist with 15 years’ experience advising investors, developers, governments, occupiers and owners around real estate strategy for developing tech companies and clusters. She was a founder member of London’s tech city team for the UK government and co-developed Europe’s first prop-tech accelerator – PiLabs.

Itai Palti

Itai is a practicing architect and researcher, and co-author of ‘A Manifesto for Conscious Cities’. His work focuses on designing with the human experience in mind. He is a co-recipient of ANFA’s HAY Grant Award for ongoing collaborative research at the intersection of neuroscience and design. A fellow at The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health, he edited its inaugural journal, is the editor of the Conscious Cities Journal, and has also contributed to a number of international publications.

Prof Nick Tyler

Nick is the Chadwick Professor of Civil Engineering at UCL and Pro-Provost, East and South Asia. Nick was the Head of Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering at UCL from 2003 to 2013. Now he researches the environment’s interactions with people. He is working extensively with bodies such as Transport for London in the UK, Latin America including Cuba, Japan and China on creating an urban realm which is responsive to people and their needs.

Elite Sher

Elite is an architect, technologist and maker. She specialises in creative applications of innovative technologies; focusing on Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, interactive installations and Artificial Intelligence in robotics. Elite is currently working as a creative engineer, designer and innovator at the innovation lab at Lift / Microsoft in London.

Jamie is passionate about creating strong research and the translation of this into evidence informed design. He works on 3 large well-being research projects led by Sheffield and Manchester Universities (IWUN, GHIA, GrowGreen). He also works for BuroHappold Engineer‘s Sustainability team, liaising with developers, national and local policy makers. This has included several exciting project opportunities to explore ‘urban wellbeing’ in practice, such as the International Quarter London and Olympicopolis, The Factory in Manchester and a proposed new Asian city.

Dr Tasos Varoudis

Tasos is a licensed architect and computing engineer with research focusing on hybrid architecture, computational analysis and interaction. Since 2011 he leads the spatial and architectural computation research for the Space Syntax Laboratory at the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) where he is developing new methodological and computational innovations combining spatial data-driven models with machine learning and agent-based models.