Urban labs and experiments

Along with our collaborators, we explore the urban design-emotion connection using interactive public experiments.

We have surveyed thousands of Americans to produce a new understanding of the link between their commutes and their happiness. We have measured the emotional effects of architecture. We have used social tests to see how various landscapes influence altruistic behaviour. We have used giant building blocks to enable people to transform city streets.  Inspired by insights from academic research, these activities produce data to inform urban designers and public policy.

We also co-create events that give participants a visceral understanding of the relationship between design, emotions and social trust. We simulate bad transit experiences, chance encounters with strangers and Eden-like nature immersion—then we measure and talk about the effects. These urban labs are a powerful tool to drive discussion at conferences, public engagement processes and other gatherings.


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