The Shaping of Us: How Everyday Spaces Structure our Lives, Behaviour, and Well-Being

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Little, Brown Book Group, Nov 30, 2017 - Psychology - 336 pages

"You are going to be transported by what Bernheimer has to say. You'll make different decisions and figure out how your brain is working and what should be prioritized in your life" Jo Good, BBC London

What makes everyday spaces work, how do they shape us, and what do they say about us?

The spaces we live in - whether public areas, housing, offices, hospitals, or cities - mediate community, creativity, and our very identity, making us who we are. Using insights from environmental psychology, design, and architecture, The Shaping of Us reveals the often imperceptible ways in which our surroundings influence our behaviour.

Wide-ranging and global examples cover the differences between personalities and nationalities, explore grass-roots and mainstream efforts to build environments promoting well-being, and look ahead to what will become of us if we don't listen closely to what we know is good for us.

You will learn whether you are a natural 'prospector' or 'refuger' in the office environment, what roundabouts and stoplights say about British and American culture, whether you are guilty of NIMBYism or being drawn to 'ruin porn', and how the half-house may be a common sight in the near future.

The environments we inhabit define our identities - from the earliest moments of our evolution to the worlds we build around ourselves.

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About the author (2017)

Lily Bernheimer is an environmental psychologist, consultant and writer. She is Founding Director of Space Works Consulting where she works to make human environments truly support the people and purposes they serve. Her behavioural science consulting work has ranged from design strategy for wellbeing in co-working spaces to advising Transport for London on street design tactics 'nudging' pedestrians to avoid road danger. Her collaborative user experience research on Wellbeing in Prison Design was awarded the 2018 RIBA President's Award for Research in Ethics and Sustainable Development. She has worked with clients such as Grainger plc, RESI, Cuprinol and Adam Architecture. She holds an MSc. in Environmental Psychology from the University of Surrey, where she also served as Research Fellow, and a BA from Brown University. Lily is a regular contributor to Psychology Today and her writing and work have been featured in The Guardian, Architecture Today and on the BBC. She speaks at forums such as Clerkenwell Design Week, Salesforce B-Well Together, London Festival of Architecture, Cambridge University and the Academy of Urbanism.

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