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

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Itai Palti
Director

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.

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Aishwarya Narayana
Lab Lead

Architect, Experimental Psychologist
and Poet.

Aishwarya yearns to create cultural change in the Architecture community through Investigative Research in Aesthetics and Phenomenology of built environment as well as Conscious Design Practice for holistic wellbeing. Currently, she’s ‘the bridge across the studio and lab’  Lab Lead. As the Director of Conscious Design Development at the Centre for Conscious Design, under the guidance of Itai Palti, she founded ‘Conscious Design Kalpa’ and has been spearheading the Conscious Cities movement in Bengaluru.

As a graduate in Neuroaesthetics from Goldsmiths, University of London, she implements empirical research methods and explicate subjective and objective measures of human experience in space to enrich the practice of built environment design.

In life, she hopes to collate and spark research on multi-sensory perception, spatial cognition, and empathy with architectural practice and pedagogy, as well as community engagement to promote conscious design.

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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”.

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Elizabeth Kostina
Researcher

Design Student and Knowledge Sponge

Elizabeth is a university student studying architecture and film. She is passionate about interdisciplinary practices and modes of architecture at the intersection of neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics, and human rights, focusing on design as a motor for social reform and cultural change.

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Shashwath Ravisundar
Designer

Architecture Student and Mapping Enthusiast

A graphic designer, travel fanatic, part carnatic musician, Shashwath is a student currently studying in RV college of Architecture, Bengaluru. Shashwath believes that architecture is an interdisciplinary field which requires amalgamation of various fields, interests and would love to engage in collaborations with the same perspective.

He also likes to explore architecture as an insert among various scales, from Urban policy, planning Urban design to detailing and interior design.

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Surayyn Selvan
Designer

Multi-modal architect exploring data informed design

Surayyn Selvan was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and currently based in Barcelona – started his architectural journey by acquiring his BSc (Hons) Architecture from Taylor’s University, Malaysia in 2016 and went on to work as an Architectural Assistant for VERITAS Design Group, Kuala Lumpur before deciding to pursue his masters in Barcelona in 2018. A recent graduate from the Masters in Advanced Architecture 02 program at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, he has experimented with various mediums such as perpetual motion machines, wearable technology and urban analytics to inform design decisions.

He believes that “architecture” is embedded in all forms of design and understands that there is a need to identify different depths of data to create holistic design strategies. He has a passion for learning new forms of technologies and obsessed with programming and physical computing. Check out his portfolio [here]!

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Maria Monica Selvaraj
Researcher

Architect, Researcher and Culture Magnet

Monica started her journey as a young design enthusiast at RV College of Architecture, Bengaluru. She has since gained experience as a practicing architect while handling projects of varying scales that are, context-sensitive, user-centric and functionally dynamic.

She then dove into urban research as an associate researcher at The Everyday City Lab. She was involved in investigative research projects ranging from urban informality and mapping the intangibles, social capital in societal well-being, to studying urban practices–especially the synergy of the religious and the economic practices in her home city of Bengaluru. Through her body of work, she hopes to examine socio-spatial and socio-cultural ecosystems at the neighborhood and community levels in India.

As a researcher, her focus intersects across domains of the urban living, spatial ethnography, folklore, ecology, social well-being and design. At the CCD, she hopes to be exposed to and engage in cross-disciplinary thinking, and science-informed design. She is also the Director of Operations at Conscious Bengaluru.

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Urszula Kuczma
Collaborator

Practicing Architect and Researcher

Urszula is a practicing architect, currently a Project Manager at Noiz in Tokyo. Previously she worked at renown practices like MVRDV in the Netherlands and Architecture49 in Canada. Working experiences in Berlin, Tokyo, Vancouver and Rotterdam, together with scholarships in Singapore and Rome shifted her interests towards cultural diversity.

In her research she focuses on the impact of socio-cultural background on human’s perception of space. In times of rapid globalisation of architectural design, a sensitivity for local preferences and social complexities is of highest importance. Understanding behavioural patterns of local communities can help to promote healthy development of built environment around the world.

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Natalia Olszewska
Collaborator

Natalia is leads Research at Impronta

Natalia Olszewska is a Researcher and Practitioner in Neuroscience Applied to Architecture. Being a graduate in medicine (Jagiellonian University & Tor Vergata), neuroscience (Sorbonne Université & ENS), Brain and Mind studies (UCL) and ‘Neuroscience applied to Architectural Design’ (IUAV university) she works between disciplines and aims to create insights which can change our architectural and urban environment and make it more people-centred.

At work, she combines 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. Natalia is a co-founder of Impronta, behavioural sciences and neuroscience consultancy for architecture.

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?).”

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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.

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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.

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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.