Lily Bernheimer - The Shaping of Us - Little, Brown Book Group

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    • ISBN:9781472137852
    • Publication date:30 Nov 2017

The Shaping of Us

How Everyday Spaces Structure our Lives, Behaviour, and Well-Being

By Lily Bernheimer

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A fascinating new popular science title that shows how our behaviour and character is subtly influenced by our environment - both natural and designed.

"You are going to be transported by what Bernheimer has to say. You'll make different decisions and figure out how your brain is working and what should be prioritized in your life" Jo Good, BBC London

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.

Biographical Notes

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.

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  • ISBN: 9781472137845
  • Publication date: 30 Nov 2017
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  • Imprint: Robinson
'An analysis of how we could design the whole of our environment to be better... She sets out to entertainingly chart the 20th-century history of research into how where we are shapes who we are. It's a timely volume given the current level of interest in the relationship between buildings and health.' Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs magazine
"You are going to be transported by what Bernheimer has to say. You'll make different decisions and figure out how your brain is working and what should be prioritized in your life" Jo Good, BBC London
"Just a great book. Few things matter more than the spaces we inhabit, and Bernheimer convincingly states the case for design that accepts humanity as we actually are. You will never look at your neighbour, home or office quite the same way ever again" Tim Wu, author of The Attention Merchants and The Curse of Bigness

"How do our environments - built, natural, and biological - fit or fail to fit our needs as human beings? Lily Bernheimer takes us on a tour, a tour de force, of illuminating cases, with sage advice for those who design spaces for human beings to live humane lives" George Lakoff, author of Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being

"We have built an urban environment for ourselves, and it shapes us in return. In order to become happier and more effective humans, Bernheimer shows us how we must modify our cities, workplaces, and homes. Her book is an ideal introduction to this essential task" Max Jacobson, co-author of A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction
"In this exceptionally readable book, Bernheimer has translated research findings and design practice into a highly engaging account of how we interact with and mold the spaces around us. She shows us that with more thought and imagination, our buildings and cities could provide us with more stimulating, rewarding, and livable environments" David Uzzell, professor of environmental psychology, University of Surrey
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