Communities which design their own buildings are more likely to be happy and healthy
“We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us,” said Winston Churchill. He was right; our surroundings can make us healthier and less likely to drop litter, enhance our beauty, decrease our perception of pain and enable us to solve puzzles more quickly.
But long before buildings, the elements of our natural habitats shaped us. According to Darwinian theory, all animals should be attracted to the sort of settings they excel in. For humans, this means habitats providing the right balance of information and refuge. We can’t swim, fly or smell very well, but we glide gracefully through seas and skies of information – our special super power. We follow the promise of new environmental information like a bloodhound tracks a scent.
We like spaces that flirt with us: complex and mysterious settings. While orderly layouts like American street grids are easy to navigate, we prefer streets that curve out of sight, leading us on with a tantalising hint of what lies beyond. We like environments that excite our curiosity, but also satiate it.
An environment is “legible” if it’s easy to survey and form a cognitive map of. Prospect – the ability to see the distance – is part of this. To be truly legible, there must be elements that help us find our way, like the clumps of trees in the African savannahs of our origin.
Read the full story HERE >>> The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/nov/26/how-architecture-shapes-our-cities-and-our-lives