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Session 3 | Uneasy Cities with Kate Jeffery

From: 2022-05-24 To:2022-05-24

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  • Thematic Line

    Modern & Contemporary Philosophy
  • Research Group

    Mind, Language & Action
  • 24 May 2022 | 15h00 | Online


    Architecture: Philosophy and Sciences | 2021-2022 Seminars Programme
    Autofocus Blended Learning eSeminars series ABLeS


    #03 Seminar_SPACE:DIY

    Uneasy Cities with Kate Jeffery (University College London)​


    The 03_SPACE:DIY seminar will start at 15:00 WEST with a short film from our series 'Architecture: a reason for Memory' (approximately 15min.) + Introduction to the SPACE:DIY seminar theme and keynote speaker presentation by Sérgio Pinto Amorim. We intend for Kate Jeffery's UNEASY CITIES talk to start at 16:00 WEST (Porto local time). We reserved an hour from 16:00 to 17:00 for the lecture. After the presentation, there will be a Q&A period of approximately one hour.


    ONLINE | Link Zoom



    Abstract: When we move around in our environment we assimilate the layout and the content of our surroundings – what things are located where, what are the paths that connect one place to another etc, and in doing so we form a mental map. We are now starting to understand the neurobiology of this map and in doing so are discovering the importance of the environment in shaping it: in particular, we are finding that some environments aid mapping and some hinder it. In this talk I will argue that poor mental mapping leads to an emotional state I call "spatial unease" - the feeling of not knowing exactly where you are in relation to your wider surroundings. This leads not just to poor navigation but perhaps, more broadly, to a poor sense of ownership and belonging with respect to the city. I will lay out some principles deriving from the neuroscientific study of mental mapping that may help reduce spatial unease and aid in the design of cities that are both easier and more pleasant to navigate.


    Kate Jeffery is Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience at University College London. Her scientific research explores how the brain makes an internal map of space for use in navigation and memory. She heads the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at UCL, and is Vice Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Brain Sciences. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, Fellow and recent Vice-President of the Royal Institute of Navigation, in which she also chairs the Cognition and Navigation special interest group. She is interested in making and communicating links between scientific research findings and real-world societal problems – notably urban design for navigation, and also the climate crisis.


    Live sessions will be broadcast via streaming, recorded, and later edited and made available in open access on the digital platform, as part of the Autofocus Blended Learning eSeminars ABLeS INTERSECTIONS.





    The programme – Architecture: Philosophy and Sciences – is a partnership between three R&D centres:
    Mind Language Action Research Group (MLAG) - Institute of Philosophy of the University of Porto - FIL/00502
    CEAU - Centre for Studies of Architecture and Urbanism of the Faculty of Architecture of University of Porto
    CITAD - Centre for Research in Territory, Architecture, and Design/G1 of FAA / Faculty of Architecture and Arts of Lusíada University –North/Porto.

    Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT)
    U.Porto e Banco Santander - Programa Santander Universidades

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