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The Conscious Cities Festival gathers those interested in the creation of human-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 5 days will focus on Architecture, Urban Design, City Tech, Behavioural Science, and Property.

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 Lombardini 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 scientists - talks from the day are available to watch online, as well as coverage 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.

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Itai Palti

Founder, Conscious Cities


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

ONLINE
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

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Event Tickets

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


Monday, 22nd October, 2018

6pm - 9pm

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

Venue Partner: RIBA

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 the RIBA 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
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Ben Derbyshire

President of the Royal Institute of British Architects

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Julia Barfield

Founding Director at Marks Barfield Architects

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Prof. Kate Jeffery

Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at UCL

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Prof. Alan Penn

Dean of The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Prof. Tolullah Oni

Public Health Physician Scientist, University of Cambridge

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Chris Watson

Director of Property at Maggie's

Tuesday, 23rd October, 2018

10:00 to 20:00 BST

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.

The Right to the City is Henri Lefebvre's call to action to reclaim the city as a co-created space, allowing urban dwellers to remodel their surroundings, and therefore themselves. As Lefebvre stated, a new approach to urbanism must “rescue the citizen as main element and protagonist of the city that he himself had built”. The Right to the City was recognised by the United Nation's New Urban Agenda (2016) as the vision of "cities for all".

Speakers
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Prof. Colin Ellard

Neuroscientist, Author, and Design Consultant. University of Waterloo

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Alison Von Glinow

Kwong Von Glinow Design Office

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Andrea Mechelli

Project Lead at Urban Mind. Prof. in Early Interveintion in Mental Health, KCL

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Frank Kresin

Managing Director at the DesignLab at the University of Twente

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Kathy Hirsh-Pasek

Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution, Professor at Temple University

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Kate Crawford

Urban Designer and Researcher, Fellow at Urbanistas

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Justin Garrett Moore

Executive Director at New York City Public Design Commission

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Jennifer Gardner

Program Manager at Ghel Institute

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Adam Scott

Creative Director and Founder at Freestate

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Anna Kerr

Director of White Arkitekter, Sweden

Wednesday, 24th October, 2018

5pm -8:30pm

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

Venue Partner: Future Cities Catapult

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
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Savannah de Savary

Founder and CEO at Built-ID

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Prof. Duncan Wilson

Professor of Connected Environments at UCL

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Vanessa Lee Butz

CEO & Founder at District Technologies

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Sam Markey

Head of Executive Office at Future Cities Catapult

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Dr. Henry Chan

Impact Assessment Team Lead at Future Cities Catapult

Thursday, 25th October, 2018

6pm -9pm

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

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
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Prof. Kate Jeffery

Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at UCL

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Prof. Christoph Hölscher

Chair of Cognitive Sciences at ETH Zürich

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Dr. Kerstin Sailer

Social and Spatial Networks at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

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Dr. Nigel Oseland

Environmental Psychologist at UCL Institute of Environmental Design and Engineering

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Rachel Toms

Healthy Places Unit, Public Health England

https://www.ccities.org/2018-festival-day-5-speakers-property/

Friday, 26th October, 2018

10am - 1pm

Lombardini22, 22 Via Lombardini, 20143 Milano, Italy

Venue partner: Lombardini22

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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

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Alice Hollenstein

Deputy Manager at Center for Urban & Real Estate Management at the University of Zurich

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Davide Ruzzon

Scientific Director of  NAAD Master 'Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design’ at Venice University

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Franco Guidi

Founder and Partner CEO at Lombardini22

 

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Prof. Michela Balconi

Professor of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at UCSC, Milan

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Francesco Bicciato

Italian Sustainable Investment Forum

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Prof. Giuseppe Roma

President of Urban Research Institute, Professor of Urban Management

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Piero Pelizzaro

Municipality of Milan