We’re architects, neuroscientists, medics, data scientists, and even real people you can speak to!

Itai Palti 1000pxb

Itai Palti

Architect and Researcher with the
human experience in mind.

In 2015, Itai founded the Conscious Cities movement; a new field of research and practice for building people-centred environments that are aware and responsive using data analysis, AI, tech, and behavioural science in design.

Itai is the director of The Centre for Conscious Design, a think tank focused on using design to address urban challenges facing society today and in the future. The centre publishes open-access research and organises Conscious Cities events worldwide.

A fellow at The Centre for Urban Design and Mental Health (editing its inaugural journal), and at the Urban Design Forum, Itai also carries out thought leadership roles in bodies such as Harvard and Brookings Institution and is on the Advisory Council of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.

An alumnus of The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, Itai and has worked alongside the late visionary architect Jan Kaplicky at Future System on projects such as the Ferrari Museum in Modena. His design work and writing has been featured internationally and he is a regular speaker at events focused on human-centred design.

Aishwarya profile

Aishwarya Narayana
Lab Lead

Architect, Experimental Psychologist
and Poet.

Aishwarya works to create a cultural change in the Architecture community through Investigative Research in Aesthetics and Phenomenology of built environment geared towards holistic wellbeing. Currently, she’s pursuing an M.Sc. in Neuroaesthetics at Goldsmiths, University of London while conducting empirical research and collaborative workshops on Parametric Phenomenology and attitudes towards ‘Creator-centric’ and Science-informed Design.

As a Fellow at the Centre for Conscious Design, she co-founded ‘Conscious Bengaluru’ and has been spearheading the Conscious Cities movement in Bengaluru. In life, she hopes to collate research in the neuroscience of multi-sensory perception, spatial cognition, and empathy with architectural practice and pedagogy, as well as com


Maighdlyn Hadley
Project Lead

Practicing Architect
and Researcher

Maighdlyn is a proponent of design for wellbeing. Trained as an architect, with experience working at studios in Europe and North America, she believes in the ability of spatial design to change minds.

A recent MArch alumna of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, she worked as a graduate research assistant for the Human Metrics Lab to understand the role of design processes in creating positive spatial experiences. Maighdlyn has pursued design research about spaces which cater to mental health for a neurodiverse public, and wants to take steps to improve the process of knowledge translation from cognition science findings to design. Through her fellowship at the Centre for Conscious Design, she seeks opportunities to promote health and wellbeing through design. Maighdlyn’s name is pronounced “MAD-lin”.

Colin Ellard

Prof. Colin Ellard
Scientific Advisor

Neuroscientist, author at the
intersection of psychology and design.

Author of ‘Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life’, an exploration of how homes, workplaces, cities and nature influence the brain and body, Colin is fascinated by the many ways that the settings of our lives affect how we think and feel.

“The stories of our lives can be told using maps—maps of migrations, travel adventures, old neighbourhoods, the insides of our homes, and our social networks. Our relationships with space and place reach into every corner of our lives from the mundane (how do we find our way to the grocery store?) to the sublime (what is it about the space inside a large cathedral that takes our breath away?).”


Prof. Moshe Bar
Advisory Board Member

Neuroscientist and Director of
Gonda Brain Research Center

Prof. bar is a Neuroscientist and director of the Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center in Israel. The Gonda Center is devoted to solving how the human brain allows us to perceive and understand the environment, while generating our memory, thoughts and emotions.

Prior to joining the faculty at Bar-Ilan, Prof. Bar served as associate professor in psychiatry and radiology at Harvard Medical School, and associate professor in psychiatry and neuroscience at Massachusetts General Hospital. He also directed the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging.

Prof. Bar’s research focuses on how the brain extracts and uses contextual information to generate predictions and efficiently guide cognition. He is a co-author of ‘A Manifesto for Conscious Cities’, arguing that data, technology and planning techniques can be used to improve our built environment.


Susan Magsamen
Advisory Board Member

Social Scientist, Learning expert
and Program Architect

With over 35 years experience in developing effective learning programs rooted in the science of learning, Susan is an active member of the brain sciences research, arts, education and social impact communities. She currently serves as Executive Director of the International Arts and Mind Lab at the Brain Science Institute at Johns Hopkins University. She is also the senior advisor to the Science of Learning Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Susan’s approach to creating effective translational models combine interdisciplinary, evidence-based research with practical, applicable ideas and programs. She brings together scientists, educators, families, psychologists, advocates, policymakers, educational media, technologists, and others to share their perspectives and expertise on education, family life, and other topics. This work has resulted in successful impact-based work.


Sarah Williams Goldhagen
Advisory Board Member

Architecture critic, Theorist
and Design Consultant

Sarah Williams Goldhagen writes, lectures, and consults about the design of architecture and landscapes, cities and urban design, infrastructure and public art — all the things that constitute the built environment.

The author of the widely discussed Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives (HarperCollins, 2017), she recently joined the core team of Turf Advisory as Managing Director of Human-Centered Design. Goldhagen is a contributing editor at Art in America and Architectural Record; for many years, she was the New Republic’s architecture critic, and taught for a decade at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.

Goldhagen has been an invited guest lecturer at numerous universities and colleges in the US and Europe, and her award-winning essays appear regularly in professional and general-interest publications.


Urszula Kuczma
Design Team 

Practicing Architect
and Researcher

Urszula focuses on implementation of human oriented research into practice and the influence of this approach onto project development process. She investigates modes of translating science into design.

Urszula graduated from the Master Degree Program in Architecture at CUT in Poland, with scholarships in Rome and Singapore. Afterwards she worked with some of the most renown practices in Canada and Europe.


Natalia Olszewska

Natalia leads research projects
at the Human Metrics Lab.

Natalia’s approach balances two sub-personalities, one which values scientific precision and knowledge, and another that favours creativity and unorthodoxy.

Being a graduate in medicine, neuroscience and ‘neuroscience applied to architectural design’ (the world’s first master’s degree program bridging neuroscience with architecture) she combines at work her deep care for people and their well-being with her passion for architecture and design. Her specific professional interest is the impact of architecture on different aspects of our lives: social, behavioural, health & well-being and cognition.

Outside of work she tries to spend outdoors as much time as possible skiing, teaching skiing to children, windsurfing and trekking in the mountains.