There is no doubt whatever about the influence of architecture and structure upon human character and action. We make our buildings and afterwards they make us. They regulate the course of our lives.”
Winston Churchill, addressing the English Architectural Association, 1924.
In designing and constructing environments in which people live and work, architects and planners are necessarily involved in influencing human behavior. While Summer (1969, p.3) asserted that the architect “in his training and practice, learns to look at buildings without people in them,” it is clear that from, for example, Howard’s Garden Cities of To-morrow (1902), through Le Corbusier Ville Contemporaries and La Ville radiuses’, to the Smithson’s’ ‘Streets in the sky’, there has been a long-standing thread of recognition that the way people live their lives is directly linked to the designed environments in which they live. Whether the explicit intention to influence behavior drives the design process—architectural determinism (Broadly, 1966: see future blog post ‘POSIWID and determinism’)—or whether the behavior consequences of design decisions are only revealed and considered as part of a post-occupancy evaluation (e.g. Zeisel, 2006) or by social scientists or psychologists studying the impact of a development, there are links between the design of the built environment and our behavior, both individually and socially.
- Architecture, urbanism, design and behavior: (archiabyssina.com)
- Le Corbusier, Almost 50 years after his death, remains an important source of inspiration for leading architects today. (archidialog.com)
- T Magazine: Celebrating L.A.’s Modern Architecture (tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com)