Understanding the significance of the physical environment in our lives is important to all of us as citizens—and as future design professionals. Through this reader, we want to help urban design, architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture students develop social perspectives on their work. Accordingly, the book has several objectives:As an introduction to the field of human-environment studies, it offers working knowledge of theoretical concepts about the relationship between people and their environments.
It teaches content from the viewpoint of three different American subcultures, bringing home the point that American life expresses multiple experiences, not one.
The readings reflect our choice to compare and contrast Anglo-American, Chinese-American, and Hispanic-American experiences as examples.
It engages students in research about our involvement with buildings, interiors, and places. We want students to know how to use other people's published research, and how to do their own original research. We want them to be able to contribute to programming and evaluation research. Hence, the book includes articles about data collection techniques and methodological issues.
Many of the articles model how to think critically about the values embedded in design and the humanistic consequences for people, their behavior, and feelings.
Because we define environment broadly to include the object and the body up to the neighborhood and city, the readings cover all scales.
Each reading does double or triple duty. We list each one by year to encourage us all to use the varied readings for different purposes, and to show development of the field since its inception in the 1960s.