Date: 10/23/2015 - 10/25/2015

Time: All Day

Location: Pioneer Works (159 Pioneer St., Brooklyn)

Price: Free, RSVP here

Our surroundings can powerfully affect our thoughts, emotions, and physical responses, whether we’re awed by the Grand Canyon or Hagia Sophia, panicked in a crowded room, soothed by a walk in the park, or tempted in casinos and shopping malls. In his new book, Places of the Heart, Colin Ellard explores how our homes, workplaces, cities, and nature—places we escape to and can’t escape from—have influenced us throughout history, and how our brains and bodies respond to different types of real and virtual space. As he describes the insight he and other scientists have gained from new technologies, he assesses the influence these technologies will have on our evolving environment and asks what kind of world we are, and should be, creating. Over the course of the weekend researchers will take small groups of participants on walks designed to explore the psychology of urban life by measuring responses to a set of carefully curated locations throughout the Red Hook area. Participants will be asked to carry a specially programmed phone and to wear a small headband that records their patterns of brain activity. Our overall goal is to map the relationships between place, comfort, happiness, arousal (both negative and positive), perceptions of risk, responses to natural features and to urban design variables. The walk will take approximately one hour, following which participants will have an opportunity to discuss their experiences in a debriefing session. On Sunday, October 25th at 4pm, Colin Ellard will be joined by Howard Chambers, a partner in the urban innovation studio SOFTWALKS. A recent graduate from the Transdisciplinary Design Program at Parsons the New School for Design, Howard focuses on re-imagining outdated infrastructure throughout New York City. She is committed to the belief that major urban metropolises should be designed with people as the primary user. This culminating discussion will consider the data collected from walks as a way of gaining insight into our urban environment and, more specifically, our connection to Red Hook.

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