“Sarah Williams Goldhagen’s book lays the groundwork for the cognitive neuroscience of architecture.”
—Terrence J. Senjowski, Francis Crick Chair, Computational Neurobiology Laboratory, The Salk Institute
“Sarah Goldhagen brilliantly prompts the allegory of “blindsight” to show how the recent findings of cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology can become the basis for a thoroughgoing paradigm shift in the understanding and construction of the built environment. In explaining the connection between human experience and the world as an embodied phenomenon, she reconfigures the foundations of thinking that have dominated the scholarly, design, and building professions. But she does more: bringing the sciences deep into the humanities, she reconceptualizes our understanding of the built environment’s profound effects on individuals, communities, and societies.
Goldhagen’s sharp eye as a design thinker maps out this new terrain through an array of specific and illuminating architectural, landscape, and urban explorations, offering examples that span ages, styles, and sensibilities. In reading this book, architects and planners will continually be asking themselves to rethink their own design practices and methodologies. Even more importantly, the tenets of the book stand to have a sweeping impact on a much broader audience of policy makers and the general public by helping us to gauge how we build, construct policy, integrate disciplines, define design agency, and produce rich and ennobling environments in a rapidly changing world around us.
Lucidly written in beautiful prose, this book will stimulate and delight professionals, students, and non-professionals alike. A must-read for all of us, there is much to learn from it!”
—Nader Tehrani, Dean, Cooper Union School of Architecture
“Goldhagen’s illuminating book on the design of our world begins just where it should, with us and how we live, not with a dazzling shell. She shows us many ways that good design can uplift our lives and how poor design can fail us.”
—Barbara Tversky, Professor Emerita of Psychology at Stanford University
“In this feast for the mind, Sarah Goldhagen combines her trademark brilliant commentary on world architecture with some of the newest and most interesting findings from cognitive science and neuroscience. She delivers a vital message with authority and passion: we can and must capitalize on this new knowledge to build more human-centered urban environments. It’s a call to action we ignore at our peril.”
—Colin Ellard, Director of the Urban Realities (Psych) Lab at the University of Waterloo, Canada, author of Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life and You are Here
“Welcome to Your World is a remarkable book and a fascinating exploration of the human experience in the city. Combining personal anecdotes with the most advanced cognitive research, Sarah Goldhagen’s groundbreaking work reveals the complex relationship between our own sense of wellness and the environments we inhabit. Informed and inspired, Welcome to Your World challenges us to design cities with a new sensibility; one that enriches our mind and multi-sensory body.”
—Mikyoung Kim, Award-winning landscape architect
“By re-learning how our bodies respond to light, form, texture and color, this book offers a readable and jargon-free account on how the visceral and the spatial are deeply connected in buildings. From archaic monuments to icons of contemporary architecture, Goldhagen gives us new insights on how form affects the human mind.”
—Ricky Burdett, Professor of Urban Studies, London School of Economics