Why our brains love curvy architecture

An article about different responses people have to curved versus rectilinear designed forms. The former is more likely to prompt activity in brain regions associated with emotion.  ”Curvature appears to affect our feelings, which in turn could drive our preference,” it says. Why, though?  There’s an adaptive rationale, that straight lines = sharp objects = danger, and that might be partly true, but as the piece points … Continue reading Why our brains love curvy architecture

Kevin Lynch, empiricism and creativity

I’ve recently enjoyed an (almost) cover-to-cover reading of Kevin Lynch’s Image of the City, having dipped in and out of it over the last year or so.  Lynch was an MIT professor and practicing urban planner, and this is his best-known work.   The book is for the most part a study of ‘legibility’ in the urban environment, which Lynch explains as ‘the ease with which its parts can be … Continue reading Kevin Lynch, empiricism and creativity


There was a point, back in the spring, when I really didn’t think it was possible.  I was at the stage in my MA major design project where I could no longer avoid getting into the detail. 1:50 scale plan drawings were required, along with associated details.  The sheer complexity of it all felt, to be frank, almost overwhelming.  One dreary Tuesday, though, I was fretting through Victoria in central London, and … Continue reading Simplicity