Author(s): Lily Bernheimer
What makes everyday spaces work, how do they shape us, and what do they say about us?The spaces we live in - whether public areas, housing, offices, hospitals, or cities - mediate community, creativity, and our very identity, making us who we are. Using insights from environmental psychology, design, and architecture, The Shaping of Us reveals the often imperceptible ways in which our surroundings influence our behaviour.Wide-ranging and global examples cover the differences between personalities and nationalities, explore grass-roots and mainstream efforts to build environments promoting well-being, and look ahead to what will become of us if we don't listen closely to what we know is good for us.You will learn whether you are a natural 'prospector' or 'refuger' in the office environment, what roundabouts and stoplights say about British and American culture, whether you are guilty of NIMBYism or being drawn to 'ruin porn', and how the half-house may be a common sight in the near future.The environments we inhabit define our identities - from the earliest moments of our evolution to the worlds we build around ourselves.
Lily Bernheimer is an environmental psychology consultant, researcher, and writer. She is Founding Director of Space Works Consulting where she consults on how to make workspaces, dwellings, and urban environments work for the people and purpose they serve. Her recent research includes a major report for Adam Architecture and Grainger plc: Tomorrow's Home: Emerging Social Trends and their Impact on the Built Environment, which has been shortlisted for the RIBA president's award for research. She is currently a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, where she obtained her MSc. in Environmental Psychology, and also holds a BA from Brown University. Her work in human-centred design has ranged from directing a documentary about public space to creating a collaborative mapping platform for new bike racks, and has taken her from her native California to New York City, Amsterdam, London, and Bristol. She regularly speaks at forums such as Clerkenwell Design Week, the London Festival of Architecture, the Academy of Urbanism, and RIBA.