Environmental Design Research

The Body, the City, and the Buildings in Between (Third Revised Edition)
Edited by Galen Cranz and Eleftherios Pavlides
Paperback, 588 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62131-879-8 ©2013
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Environmental Design Research

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    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.

    Professor Galen Cranz, PhD Sociology (University of Chicago), has taught social and cultural processes in architectural and urban design, including research methods, since 1971 at Berkeley and Princeton. She is the author of The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body and Design (1998) and The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America (1982). Dr. Cranz has published dozens of scholarly articles. As a member of design teams, she won first prize in a national competition for an inner-city park in St. Paul, Minnesota; first prize for Parc la Villette, Paris; and seventh place in the Spectacle Island Design Competition, Boston. Current research activity includes body-conscious design, the sociology of taste, the office of the future, sustainable urban parks, and ethnographic research for designers.

    Dr. Cranz was recently awarded the 2011 Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) Career Award.
    Professor Eleftherios Pavlides, AIA, PhD Architecture (University of Pennsylvania), MArch (Yale School of Architecture), has practiced architecture in the US and Greece since 1977 and has taught architectural design studios and courses examining architectural form as cultural and social expression since 1981. He has developed ethnographic methods for examining inhabitant perceptions through photo-elicitation. Dr. Pavlides has edited Constructed Meaning (1995), a volume with contributions by both architects and anthropologists, and has published numerous chapters in anthropology books. His research measuring inhabitant perceptions of wind turbines in the landscape has been credited in helping set and implement Rhode Island's 15% wind electricity goal, for which he received the Rhode Island Legislature’s Citation for Contributions to Renewable Energy, and a Commendation by the Governor of Rhode Island. His students research buildings for the benefit of architects who have designed them and administrators who manage them.