Psychology on the Street exhibition

psychologyThis exhibition of Psychology on the Street runs at the Urban Space Gallery in Toronto from September 5 to November 14, 2015.

This exhibition is curated by Colin Ellard and the Urban Realities Laboratory at the University of Waterloo, and examines the city through the lens of a vastly complicated network of human interactions—between individuals, groups, and the physical design of city spaces. Understanding how this network functions, and how urban design influences human health, well-being, and happiness can help make better cities. Dr. Ellard’s team specializes in measuring the relationships between human behaviour and urban design using a unique approach: rather than using the traditional methods of experimental psychology, they measure urban behaviour where it actually happens—out on the street.

You don’t need to be a psychologist to know that your surroundings affect how you feel and what you think about. But how exactly do these effects arise? Why does a tranquil urban park make us feel good and how does it change the way that we pay attention to things? How does the dizzying complexity of a major intersection, filled with people, noise, lights, and signs, affect our mood and our stress levels? This exhibition examines these questions, giving visitors a chance to learn more about the psychological effects of urban environments.

Dr. Ellard is also launching a new book entitled Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life, which describes the relationships between the settings of our lives and our emotional states.

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