Bridging Research, Architecture and Design For Health and Wellbeing
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The International Arts + Mind Lab at Johns Hopkins University collaborated with the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture to bring together researchers, architects, and designers to develop a shared framework to amplify the impact of design on health and wellbeing

Nov 9 – Nov 10

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg Center
Washington, DC

Intentional Spaces Summit - Landing Page Page Image
Intentional Spaces Summit - Landing Page Page Image
Intentional Spaces Summit - Landing Page Page Image
Intentional Spaces Summit - Landing Page Page Image
Engaging Conversations
Design and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational ApproachesDesign and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational ApproachesDesign and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational ApproachesDesign and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational ApproachesDesign and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational Approaches
Design and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational ApproachesDesign and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational ApproachesDesign and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational ApproachesDesign and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational ApproachesDesign and Human Experience • Placemaking to Amplify Wellbeing • Creating Effective Translational Approaches

30+ panelists and 300 invited attendees

The Intentional Spaces Summit expanded the foundation for collaboration between scientific researchers and design practitioners


In this collaborative two-day exchange, panelists and invited attendees shared design practices and technologies through the lens of translational research

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Moshe Bar
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Zena Howard
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Upali Nanda
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Michael Murphy
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André Fenton
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Esther Sternberg
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Sarah Robinson
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Anjan Chatterjee
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Julian Thayer
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Jennifer Kolstad

Moshe Bar

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Head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Bar-Ilan University

Moshe Bar is the head of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at Bar-Ilan University. He is an internationally recognized cognitive neuroscientist, whose novel research has made revolutionary contributions to our understanding of perception, cognition and issues in psychiatry. Before moving to Israel to assume the directorship of the Gonda Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center at Bar-Ilan University, which he has headed for eight years, Bar was an Associate Professor in Neuroscience, Psychiatry and Radiology at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts General Hospital. Bar and his team discovered that the human brain is engaged in thinking about the future surprisingly frequently, and in doing so it relies heavily on memory.

Bar examines how mental simulations (such as planning and mind-wandering) influence foresight and facilitate our daily interaction with the environment. Along with exploring how the brain extracts and uses contextual information to generate predictions and guide cognition efficiently, his work focuses on questions spanning the flow of information in the cortex during visual recognition and conscious perception, contextual associative processing of scene information, the cortical mechanisms mediating the formation of first impressions, the visual elements that determine human aesthetic preference and the brain’s states of mind. Bar uses neuroimaging (fMRI, MEG, EEG), psychophysical and computational methods in his research. His book, Mindwandering: How Your Constant Mental Drift Can Improve Your Mood and Boost Your Creativity, came out last year and has so far been translated to 12 languages. 

Zena Howard

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Principal and the Global Cultural and Civic Practice Chair for international architecture and design firm Perkins&Will

An award-winning architect, strategist, and mentor, her career has been defined by visionary, complex, and culturally-significant projects that navigate social issues of equity and justice and restore lost cultural connections by honoring history and memory, such as the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Her current work includes Destination Crenshaw, a community-inspired project in South Los Angeles that will be the nation’s largest art and cultural celebration of African American contribution to world culture and the much-anticipated expansion of the Motown Museum in Detroit, a project that commemorates the history and continuing legacy of Berry Gordy and Motown’s unique artists and internationally-recognized sound. Other noteworthy projects include Greenville Town Common at Sycamore Hill in Greenville, N.C.; North Carolina Freedom Park in Raleigh, N.C.; the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro, N.C.; the District of Columbia Anacostia and Tenley Friendship Neighborhood Libraries in Washington, D.C.; and the recent design competition finalist proposal for the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C.

Howard has been integral in developing and realizing Remembrance Design™, an urban and architectural design process that engages historically marginalized and negatively impacted communities to redress painful issues, bridge diverse experiences, inspire resilient communities, and infuse culture into projects, and is a founding member of Perkins&Will’s global Diversity and Inclusion Council and a member of the firmwide Board of Directors. She is a LEED-Accredited Professional, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects, and a member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. She has been an Associate Professor of Architecture at North Carolina State University’s College of Design and currently serves on the Architecture School’s Advisory Board. She is a past member of the University of Virginia Alumni Association’s Board of Managers and the University of Virginia School of Architecture Dean’s Advisory Board and is a current member of the School of Architecture Foundation Board.  She has been a visiting Professor of Architecture at the University of Washington and is the 2019 and 2020 Kea Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. 

Upali Nanda

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Global Director of Research, and Partner at HKS; Associate Professor of Practice at the Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan; Executive Director of the nonprofit Center for Advanced Design Research and Evaluation

Dr. Upali Nanda is Partner and Global Director of Research for HKS, an international architectural firm where she spearheads and leads research projects globally. She also teaches as Associate Professor of Practice at the Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning at University of Michigan and serves as the Executive Director for the non-profit Center for Advanced Design Research and Education. Her practice-based research around health and wellbeing, neuroscience and architecture, sensthetics, point of decision design, and outcome-driven design has been widely published. She has won various research and innovation awards including the 2018 Women in Architecture Innovator Award.

Michael Murphy

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Thomas Ventulett Chair of Architecture at Georgia Tech; Co-Founder and Board Member of MASS Design Group

Michael Murphy is an architectural designer, educator and writer, whose work focuses on how the built environment shapes our lives, our health, and our communities. Michael’s recent book, The Architecture of Health, traces the history of medical design and its attempt to align architecture with health outcomes. Michael’s new practice looks at the ownership of the built environment and how sharing access can solve the climate and social crises we face.

Michael is the current Thomas Ventulett Chair of Architecture at Georgia Tech, and serves on the board of MASS Design Group, which he co-founded and led until 2022; where he led design of such projects as the Butaro District Hospital, the National Memorial For Peace and Justice, and the Embrace Memorial in Boston. Michael has a BA from University of Chicago, an M.Arch from Harvard graduate school of Design, and lives in Boston with his wife and two children. He is from Poughkeepsie, New York.

André Fenton

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Professor of Neural Science; Director, Center for Neural Science at New York University

André Fenton, professor of neural science at New York University, investigates the molecular, neural, behavioral, and computational aspects of memory. He studies how brains store experiences as memories, how they learn to learn, and how knowing activates relevant information without activating what is irrelevant. These investigations are founded in the how the brain computes knowledge of space, particularly the locations and directions that are the framework for experience. His investigations integrate across levels of biological organization, his research uses genetic, molecular, electrophysiological, imaging, behavioral, engineering, and theoretical methods. This computational psychiatry research is helping to elucidate and understand mental dysfunction in diverse conditions like schizophrenia, autism, and depression.

Fenton founded Bio-Signal Group Corp., which commercialized an FDA-approved portable, wireless, and easy-to-use platform for recording EEGs in novel medical applications. He implemented a CPAP-Oxygen helmet treatment for COVID-19 in Nigeria and otherLMICs and develops the use information technology for the patient-centric coordination of behavioral health services that is desperately needed to equitably deliver care for mental health. He hosted PBS’ NOVA Wonders, and chairs the NIMH Board ofScientific Counselors.

 

Esther Sternberg

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Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine Research Director; Founding Director, University of Arizona Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance; Professor of Medicine, with joint appointments in Psychology, Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture, and Nutrition and Wellness

Internationally recognized design and health pioneer Esther Sternberg’s research takes mind-body science from molecules to built environments. She is the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine Research Director, Founding Director, University of Arizona Institute on Place, Wellbeing & Performance, and Professor of Medicine, with joint appointments in Psychology, Architecture, Planning & Landscape Architecture, and Nutrition and Wellness. Formerly National Institutes of Health Senior Scientist and Section Chief, Sternberg has advised the U.S. Surgeon General, General Services Administration, Department of Defense, U.S. Green Building Council, International WELL Building Institute and the Vatican.

Sternberg’s wearable devices research with GSA measuring office environments’ impacts on health informs post-COVID workspace design and re-entry. She received the Federal Government’s highest awards, and has authored numerous scholarly articles and books. Her popular book, Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-being, helped re-ignite the design and health movement and her new book, WELL at WORK: Creating wellbeing in any workspace, brings that science into the post-COVID era.

Sarah Robinson

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Architect, writer and educator

Her books, Nesting: Body, Dwelling Mind (2011), Mind in Architecture: Neuroscience, Embodiment and the Future of Design with Juhani Pallasmaa (2015) and Architecture is Verb (2021) are among the first works to engage in dialogue between architecture and the cognitive sciences. She was the founding president of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture Board of Governors. She is adjunct professor in Architecture, Design and Media Technology at Aalborg University, Denmark, teaches and is a member of the scientific board of Neuroscience Applied to Architectural Design (NAAD) at the University of Venice, is a member of ANFA’s Advisory Board, and holds the architecture chair of the Moving Boundaries Collective. 

Anjan Chatterjee

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Professor of Neurology, Psychology, and Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and the founding director of the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics.

He received his BA in Philosophy from Haverford College, M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and completed his neurology residency at the University of Chicago. The past Chair of Neurology at Pennsylvania Hospital, Chatterjee’s research addresses neuroaesthetics, spatial cognition, language, and neuroethics.

He wrote The Aesthetic Brain: How we evolved to desire beauty and enjoy art and co-edited Brain, Beauty, and Art: Bringing Neuroaesthetics in Focus as well as Neuroethics in Practice: Mind, Medicine, and Society, and The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience: Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychology. Chatterjee received the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology and the Rudolph Arnheim Prize for contributions to Psychology and the Arts from the American Psychological Association. He is a founding member of the Board of Governors of the Neuroethics Society, the past President of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics, and the Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology Society.

Julian Thayer

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Distinguished professor of psychological science in the University of California at Irvine’s School of Social Ecology

Among his diverse interests is his compassion research. Thayer studies the body’s longest nerve, called the vagus, as it relates to compassion. He has found that those who are more compassionate exhibit more activity along their vagus nerve. His numerous accolades include the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s 2019 Distinguished Scientist Award, the most prestigious honor granted by the organization. It is based on total career achievement and recipients must have achieved scholarly distinction by making a series of distinguished empirical contributions or contributing substantially to the development of new theories or methods.

Thayer holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in psychophysiology from New York University and a B.A. in psychology from Indiana University. Specializing in health psychology, psychopathology, health disparities, heart rate variability, emotions, stress and neuroimaging research, he came to UCI from Ohio State University, where he was the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Health Psychology and where he ran the Emotions and Quantitative Psychophysiology Lab.

Jennifer Kolstad

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Global Design & Brand Director at Ford Motor Company

Jennifer Kolstad is Global Design & Brand Director at Ford Motor Company, where she is evolving Ford’s iconic brand and culture using human-centered design. She provides design oversight focused on Ford’s physical environments and her role seeks to unify Ford’s brand language across typologies through architecture and design, investigating opportunities for cultural and behavioral change, elevating design impact internal and external to the global Ford ecosystem.

Kolstad previously co-directed the Collective Studio at HKS, merging disciplines and hybrid typologies to innovate design outcomes. She also worked at SOM, Gensler, and ALDAR in the United Arab Emirates. She designed the 2 million-square-foot, 800-bed Kuwait Children’s Hospital in Kuwait City and the 1 million-square-foot YAS Marina Formula One Hotel in Abu Dhabi.