Human Spaces

Spaces designed with the human in mind

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Books & papers

FutuREstorativeFutuREstorative: Working Towards a New Sustainability

Martin Brown

This book aims to further the debate on new sustainability thinking in the built environment, by bringing together a selection of short contributions from thought leaders in the UK and the rest of the world with an overarching narrative from Martin Brown.

Although progress in sustainable solutions has been made over the past decade, the trend is still one of a woefully wasteful construction industry. This book aims to show that being ‘less bad’ is no longer good enough.

Imaginary Cities

Darran Anderson

‘Imaginary Cities’ (Influx Press, 2015) is a nonfiction journey through mythic, future and unbuilt cities. It explores how such visions have intersected with and inspired real architecture, and how much of our actual cities are based on visionary dreams and nightmares.

‘Imaginary Cities’ was listed in the Financial Times Best Books of 2015.

Cover of Biophilia by EDWARD O. WILSONBiophilia Read of the week

Edward O. Wilson

The eminent biologist reflects on his own response to nature and the aesthetic aspects of his exploration of natural systems in an intensely personal essay that examines the essential links between mankind and the rest of the living world.

Book cover of Sound Business, by JULIAN TREASURESound Business

Julian Treasure

Sound can change people’s behaviour in almost any commercial environment (…). Research shows that appropriate sound can increase retail sales by over 30 % and triple productivity for some workers.

Book cover of The Shape of Green, by LANCE HOSEYThe Shape of Green

Lance Hosey

In The Shape of Green, Lance Hosey argues that beauty is inherent to sustainability, for how things look and feel is as important as how they’re made. Form and image can enhance conservation, comfort, and community at every scale of design.

Book cover of Urban Eco Chic, by Oliver HeathUrban Eco Chic

Oliver Heath

Urban Eco Chic shows how we can all recycle materials, use sustainable products and become increasingly energy-efficient in our own homes, without compromising our sense of style.

Book cover Ethical Land Use, by TIM BEATLEYEthical Land Use

Tim Beatley

This book is an examination of the ethical dimensions of land use decisions and policy. Its premise is that all land use decisions invariably involve ethical choices.

Book cover of Green Urbanism, by TIM BEATLEYGreen Urbanism

Tim Beatley

In Green Urbanism, Timothy Beatley explains what planners and local officials in the United States can learn from the sustainable city movement in Europe.

Book cover of Native to Nowhere, by TIM BEATLEYNative to Nowhere

Tim Beatley

In Native to Nowhere, author Tim Beatley draws on extensive research and travel to communities across North America and Europe to offer a practical examination of the concepts of place and place-building in contemporary life.

Book cover of Biophilic Cities, by TIM BEATLEYBiophilic Cities

Tim Beatley

Beatley outlines the essential elements of a biophilic city and provides examples and stories about cities that have successfully integrated biophilic elements around the world.

Book cover of Confessions of a Radical Industrialist, by RAY ANDERSONConfessions of a Radical Industrialist

Ray Anderson

In 1994, Interface founder and chairman Ray Anderson set an audacious goal for his commercial carpet company:  to take nothing from the earth that can’t be replaced by the earth.  Now, in the most inspiring business book of our time, Anderson leads the way forward and challenges all of industry to share that goal.

The Best Place to Work

Ron Friedman

In The Best Place to Work award-winning social psychologist Ron Friedman offers a captivating journey through the latest science of workplace excellence, turning thousands of academic studies into practical tips anyone can use to elevate their performance and transform their workplace.

The Wellness Syndrome

Carl Cederström and André Spicer

In their new book the authors argue that many of us are suffering from the wellness syndrome. This means people are increasingly concerned with maximising their individual health and happiness. As a result, we have started to think that a person who is healthy and happy is also a morally good person. People who are unhealthy and unhappy are seen as moral failures.

14 Patterns of Biophilic Design

William Browning, Hon. AIA Terrapin Bright Green Catherine Ryan Terrapin Bright Green Joseph Clancy Pegasus Planning Group Ltd.

“14 Patterns of Biophilic Design” articulates the relationships between nature, human biology and the design of the built environment so that we may experience the human benefits of biophilia in our design applications.

The Practice of Biophilic DesignThe Practice of Biophilic Design

Dr. Stephen Kellert and Elizabeth Calabrese AIA

This paper provides a concise framework for the application of biophilic design.  It describes the concepts of biophilia and biophilic design, the principles and practical application of biophilic design, and an ecological and ethical rationale for its occurrence.

The Future Workplace


The objective of this project is to explore and describe the future of workplaces in Britain, during a decade when the concept of “workplace care” is changing and employers need to future-proof benefit packages to attract and retain talents.

The Economics of Biophilia

Terrapin Bright Green

In The Economics of Biophilia, we share several examples of small investments involving very low or no up-front cost, such as providing employees access to plants, natural views, daylight, and other biophilic design elements. These measures provide very healthy returns.

White Paper | Building Well-Being into the Workplace, by STEELCASEBuilding Well-Being into the Workplace


Organizational wellbeing made tangible: space, furniture and tools designed to nurture wellbeing. This isn’t simply about work environments with better ergonomics or more comfort. We believe that the workplace can be a place where people actually leave healthier than when they arrive in the morning.

World Green Building Council. Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices.Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices

World Green Building Council – sponsored by JLL, Lend Lease and Skanska

This report, “Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Building”, presents overwhelming evidence that office design significantly impacts the health, wellbeing and productivity of staff.

View through a window may influence recovery from surgery

Roger Ulrich

Records on recovery after cholecystectomy of patients in a suburban Pennsylvania hospital between 1972 and 1981 were examined to determine whether assignment to a room with a window view of a natural setting might have restorative influences. Twenty-three surgical patients assigned to rooms with windows looking out on a natural scene had shorter postoperative hospital stays, received fewer negative evaluative comments in nurses’ notes, and took fewer potent analgesics than 23 matched patients in similar rooms with windows facing a brick building wall.