Interface Lectures

A series of discussions about emerging research at the intersection of Neuroscience and Architecture

Upcoming Lectures


Past Lectures

UCL x ANFA - Architecture and Mind

UCL provides a hub for transdisciplinary thinking and novel discoveries. ‘Neuroarchitecture’ asks ‘wicked’ questions where no definitive answers can be given, but rather wicked and evolving knowledge is required. The expertise across disciplines at UCL invites a myriad of evolving approaches and tools to respond to the challenges presented at the intersection of architecture and neuroscience.

The Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) in the USA have led the discussion at this intersection for two decades. In a new partnership, ANFA and UCL will set up a UK chapter centred in UCL.

Two introductory online panel sessions, moderated by The Bartlett's Dr Fiona Zisch and Prof Hugo Spiers from the Spatial Cognition Laboratory at UCL, launch this new partnership. In each session, UCL academics and affiliates will give a set of short presentations as ‘lightning talks’ intended to incite discussion. Both sessions are open to the public, and audience members from the wider UCL and ANFA communities can contribute to the discussion.

Moderators of the session:
Hugo Spiers is director of the Spatial Cognition Laboratory at UCL. His research team study how our brain constructs representations of the world and uses them to navigate, imagine the future and remember the past.
Fiona Zisch is programme director of Design for Performance and Interaction MArch at The Bartlett School of Architecture. Her research explores cognitive ecologies with a special interest in radical embodiment, as well as potentials of cross-disciplinarity between architecture and neuroscience (neuroarchitecture) and shared knowledge production within a critical framework.

Panellists: Sean Hanna, Alan Penn, Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Niall McLaughlin, Sam McElhinney, Lara Gregorians

The first session will present a series of provocations as ‘lightning talks’ around the theme of ‘Architecture and Mind’. Architecture has a rich history considering the phenomenology of space and contemporary neuroscience and its intersection with architecture promise to deepen knowledge and understanding. Panellists will discuss challenges and potentials with each other and then invite members of the audience to ask questions and join the conversation.

Sean Hanna is Professor of Design Computing and a member of the UCL Space Syntax Laboratory. His research is primarily in developing computational methods for dealing with complexity in the built environment, including the comparative modelling of space and its perception by machine, and the use of machine learning.
Alan Penn is Professor in Architectural and Urban Computing and a founding director of Space Syntax Ltd. His research focuses on understanding the way that the design of the built environment affects the patterns of social and economic behaviour of organisations and communities.
Yeoryia Manolopoulou is an architect and design researcher working from two parallel positions: as Professor of Architecture and Experimental Practice at The Bartlett School of Architecture and as founder and co-director of AY Architects. Her work focuses on the connections that can be made between architecture and experience, aleatoricism and environment. She is interested in the innate capacity of architecture to construct a felt reality (drawn or built).
Níall McLaughlin is Professor of Architectural Practice at The Bartlett School of Architecture and prinicipal architect at Niall McLaughlin Architects, the winner of the 2022 Stirling Prize. For his practice's design for an Alzheimer's Respite Centre in Dublin, and his subsequent collaboration with Yeoryia Manolopoulou in the creation of an installation at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Niall explored the neuroscience and psychology of dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
Sam McElhinney is programme director for Architecture at UCA, Canterbury and a UCL affiliate. His research is focused on developing real-time and motive spatial analytic models. He is a former member of the ‘Space Group’ at University College London (UCL) and has expansive theoretical and exhibit based research into adaptive maze and labyrinth spaces.
Lara Gregorians is a PhD student in the Spatial Cognition Laboratory at UCL. Her research is interested in architectural experience and spatial and aesthetic mapping of architectural spaces, with a focus on physiological and subjective responses.

Panellists: Sean Hanna, Alan Penn, Kate Jeffery, Stephen Gage, Grant Mills, Anna Stroe

In the second session, panellists will focus on the global challenge of ‘Health’. Following a set of ‘lightning talk’ presentations, the panel will discuss how the intersection of architecture and neuroscience can contribute to considering – and designing – healthier spaces. The audience will be able to join the conversation and pose questions for discussion.

Kate Jeffery is Head of the School of Psychology & Neuroscience at the University of Glasgow and Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at UCL. She is interested in how sensory information is assembled by the brain into more complex, cognitive representations of the world. Her focus is on the “cognitive map,” which is formed by the hippocampus and associated structures and underlies our sense of direction and sense of place.
Stephen Gage is Professor of Innovative Technology at The Bartlett School of Architecture. He has expertise in healthcare architecture and is interested in the way that the technology of building relates to the external environment, as well as the time-based aspects of architecture that relate to human occupation and building use, taking forward an early interest in cybernetics.
Grant Mills is Professor of Healthcare Infrastructure Delivery at The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction, UCL. He is specialised in the design and delivery of healthcare infrastructure facilities. Specifically, the evidence that supports the scale, scope and distribution of healthcare buildings (e.g. how they are therapeutically designed and engineered to be adaptable).
Anna Stroe is a cognitive scientist and artist, currently undertaking a PhD at the Bartlett School of Architecture and the Clinical Neuroscience Centre. Her PhD research focuses on “Diagnostics and rehabilitation after stroke in enriched XR+ML environments”.

NewSchool of Architecture & Design Lecture Series

2020 Lecture Series & Calendar
Dr. Harry Francis Mallgrave Lecture, with participation by Juhani Pallasmaa, Finland
May 22, 2020

2019 Lecture Series & Calendar
Mark Hewitt “Crafting, Depicting, Assembling: A Cognitive Overview of Architectural Design”
Thursday, May 24 @ NewSchool

Dr. Harry Mallgrave: “The Culture of Design”
Friday, March 15th @ 10:00AM

Dr. Xenia Vytuleva: “Architectures vs. the Institutes of Brain”
Wednesday April 10 @ 7:00PM, Auditorium

2018 Lecture Series & Calendar
Bob Condia: “Applied Neuroscience for Architects: How Architecture Means Something”
Thursday, February 8th @1.00PM, T1 Classroom

Alessandro Gattara “Architectural Empathy: Embodied Simulation in OFfice Interiors”
Friday, May 4 @ NewSchool

Michael Arbib: “From Frogs’ Brains to the Drawing of Buildings”
Wednesday, May 9th @6.30PM, Auditorium

Marvin Malecha: “Believing in the Teaching of Design”
Wednesday, November 14 @ NewSchool

Raymond Richard Neutra | Neutra’s Nearness to Nature: Why and How
Tuesday, September 18th @ NewSchool HangTen Conference Room