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The Conscious Cities Festival gathers those interested in the creation of people-centred environments. Research and practice using the conscious cities approach explores how architecture and urban design can better consider and respond to human needs through science informed design, data analysis and new technology.

This year’s festival looks at the key factors in creating a better built environment. The events over 4 days will focus on architecture, urban design, urban data and tech, and behavioural science. 

Our key partners and venues for this year are The RIBA, Future Cities Catapult, The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) and The Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience (UCL) in London, and Lambordini 22 in Milan.

The Conscious Cities movement began in 2015 after the publication of its manifesto in The Guardian. The 2017 conference held at The Urban Innovation Centre (London) brought together architects, urbanists, policy makers, and scientist to discuss how to create more people-centred environments. The talks from the day are available to watch online, and coverage is available from a number of media outlets including the BBC.

The movement also publishes a quarterly journal and annual anthologies that are open-access and feature research and thought pieces.

If you would like to organise an affiliated event during the festival please contact us with your idea.


DAY 1 - ARCHITECTURE

Monday, 22nd October, 2018 - London

Curating Experience - The Future Role of the Architect

Event Tickets
DAY 2 - URBANISM

Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018 - Online

Right to the City - Urban Design for Human Outcomes

Event Tickets
DAY 3 - CITY TECH

Wednesday, 24th October, 2018 - London

Humanising Technology - Human-centred Urban Innovation

Event Tickets
DAY 4 - BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCE

Thursday, 25th October, 2018 - London

Scientific Insight for the Built Environment

Event Tickets
DAY 5 - PROPERTY

Friday, 26th October, 2018 - Milan

Linking Financial and Social Profit

Event Tickets
Festival updates

Watch a 3 minute introduction to using data, neuroscience and psychology in the design of better environments.

Watch some of the talks from the 2017 Conference: Bridging Neuroscience, Architecture, and Technology


In anticipation of the 2018 Conscious Cities Festival this October, we are delighted to announce an open call for submissions to its official publication - showcasing the diverse and impactful thinking by Conscious Cities practitioners.

For this issue, we are soliciting submissions related to the Conscious Cities manifesto from both festival participants and the general public.

The 2017 Anthology is online and open access, along with all other journal issues in our publications section.


DAY 1 - ARCHITECTURE

Monday, 22nd October, 2018

6pm - 9pm

The RIBA, Florence Hall, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD

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The Royal Institute of British Architects (Partner host)

Curating Experience - The Future Role of the Architect

The architecture profession is in flux once again. The role of the architect is changing as a result of client expectations, market demands, and the growing need for specialised knowledge. Architects are interested in creating environments that prioritise the user experience, but are more often occupied with other aspects of project management and procurement. Addressing this disjunction is ultimately the responsibility of the profession itself. As other professions move towards more transparent methodologies and an evidence base, architects still rely heavily on their intuition. What new tools will shift the architecture profession back to a focus on curating experience?

Conscious Cities and will host a series of short talks and a panel debate with those reshaping the future of the profession. How will a growing and valuable evidence base from neuroscience and psychology fit into future projects and change the way we design and build?

Speakers to be announced


DAY 2 - URBANISM

Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

All Day

Online Live Lectures

 

Right to the City - Urban Design for Human Outcomes

This year’s festival encourages the participation of an international audience by hosting talks from researchers and practitioners around the world in an online event. Talks will last between 20-30 minutes and focus on work involving a science-based people-centred approach to the built environment.

Speakers to be announced


DAY 3 - CITY TECH

Wednesday, 24th October, 2018

6pm -9pm

Urban Innovation Centre, 1 Sekforde St, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0BE

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Future Cities Catapult (Partner host)

Humanising Technology - Human Centred Urban Innovation

Innovations in technology are increasingly allowing us to observe and analyse human activity on an unprecedented scale. The valuable data produced and used by such technology can potentially bridge the gap between the users of an environment and those wishing to improve its outputs. How will cities and property owners use this technology, and how can we make sure that it is used for a positive impact on our wellbeing? This event will highlight emerging technology focusing on the human experience, showcase those spearheading innovation, and encourage debate into their adoption and use. 

Conscious Cities and Future Cities Catapult will host a series of short talks and a showcase of companies in the field.

Speakers to be announced


DAY 4 - BEHAVIOURAL SCIENCE

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

6pm -9pm

The Bartlett School of Architecture, 22 Gordon Street, London, WC1H 0QB

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The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL & Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, UCL (Partner hosts)

Sensing Space - Behavioural Science for The Built Environment

Alongside visual tools, architects use intuition and a well-developed sense of empathy to imagine the experience of another within the environment being created. However, not only are these understandings limited by our subjective disposition, they are also difficult to express to others effectively. Increasingly so, science is creating insights that can augment the architect’s ability to curate an experience. The adoption of new tools from psychology and neuroscience into the architect’s creative process is now a viable and promising opportunity.

Conscious Cities, The Bartlett School of Architecture, and the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience will host a series of short talks and a panel debate with researchers at the forefront of creating behavioural insights.

Speakers to be announced


DAY 5 - PROPERTY

Friday, 26th October, 2018

6pm -9pm

Lombardini22, 22 Via Lombardini, 20143 Milano, Italy

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Partner host

Linking Financial and Social Profit - The Economic Potential of Neuroscience for Architecture

It is clear that the initiative to improve people's wellbeing through better designed environments is universally supported. However, the economic promise of human centred design is less understood, creating a growing gap between the demand for better performing environments and their supply by the building industry.

There are now an expanding number of built examples and fiscal arguments that point to the potential of science informed architecture and urban design. Developers and clients are able to improve the performance of their property, future-proofing their assets by ensuring long-term competitiveness. Placing human outputs first produces a win-win for both the property user and owner, from offices designed to improve productivity to schools that enhance learning. Neuroscience can drive architecture towards a better user experience and a positive impact on wellbeing, also preventing the high costs of poor physical and mental health.

This Conscious Cities event co-hosted by Lombardini22 will gather thought leaders in architecture, neuroscience, and property to present and debate the potential of a science-informed building industry.

Speakers to be announced


Speakers include... (More to be announced)
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Sarah Williams Goldhagen

Drawing on new discoveries in cognitive psychology and neuroscience, Sarah Williams Goldhagen, one of the US's chief architecture critics, reveals how the environments we build profoundly shape our feelings, memories, and well-being and argues that we must harness this knowledge to construct a world better suited to human experience.

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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.

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Julia King

Julia King is a Research Fellow at LSE Cities and the coordinator for numerous research strands including 'Streets for All' a research project commissioned by the Greater London Authority and on-going work on urban governance in India.

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Rob Whitehead

Rob leads the knowledge and communication programme at Future Cities Catapult. e was Chief of Strategy at the UN/WTO agency International Trade Centre, co-founder of the Centre for London think tank, Head of Strategy at the London Development Agency and held leadership roles in several technology SMEs.


Festival partners and supporters