Inquiry by Design

Environment/Behavior/Neuroscience in Architecture, Interiors, Landscape, and Planning

John Zeisel (Author)

With a Foreword by John P. Eberhard


This update of a classic text folds the new field of neuroscience for design into well-established environment-behavior (E-B) methods and approaches.

Illustrated evidence-based building and open space case studies demonstrate E-B’s continuing design impact. Fundamental theory and practical research methods are presented for planning, programming, designing, and evaluating the effects of physical environments in use. Part I describes how designers and researchers employ a similar creative process that promotes collaboration and yields greater design creativity and research effectiveness. Part II focuses on research methods to understand how buildings and spaces work: observing behavior and the physical environment, asking questions in interviews and surveys, and employing archival records that include data and physical plans.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • February 2006
  • ISBN 978-0-393-73184-2
  • 6.2 × 9.3 in / 288 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“I have rarely read a more fascinating book. Zeisel manages to provide easy-to-understand explanations of novel applications and familiar concepts.” — The Fulcrum

“What John Zeisel does better than anyone else is to link social science research to design practice.” — Dr Francis Duffy, RIBA, founder, DEGW Architects and Planners

“This book’s emphasis on the emerging connection between neuroscience, physical environment, and health improvement provides environmental designers with new and important keys to creating better supportive environments for everyone, including people living with Alzheimer’s.” — Elizabeth Brawley, author of Design Innovations in Aging

“The design community is ripe for a revival of research, especially for ideas and practices that inform design’s contribution to human experience. Zeisel invites us into the tent to inspire us with the biggest idea of all: that neuroscience can help us create places that enhance the performance of our brains.” — Valerie Fletcher, Executive Director, Adaptive Environments

“This extremely readable yet profound book provides every architect, building client, and policy maker with the practical steps needed to create buildings that ‘work’ and then to learn from both their successes and their mistakes to create even better buildings in the future. Illustrated case studies clearly demonstrate the constructive impact that Zeisel’s approach can have in design practice.” — Victor Regnier FAIA, professor of architecture and gerontology, University of Southern California

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