Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life

Colin Ellard (Author)

Product Details

$19.99  $18.39
Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date
September 15, 2015
5.9 X 0.8 X 8.9 inches | 0.7 pounds
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About the Author

Colin Ellard, who works at the intersection of neuroscience and architectural and environmental design, is the author of You Are Here: Why We Can Find Our Way to the Moon, but Get Lost in the Mall and Places of the Heart: The Psychogeography of Everyday Life (forthcoming from Bellevue Literary Press). He has published scientific work in international journals in North America, Europe, and Asia for the past twenty-five years and has also contributed to the public discussion of environmental psychology through his work with museums and the media. A cognitive neuroscientist at the University of Waterloo and director of its Urban Realities Laboratory, Ellard lives in Kitchener, Ontario.


Praise for Places of the Heart

Library of Science Book Club selection
Discover magazine "What to Read" selection
Book Riot "Small Press Book to Read" selection

"A really great book." --IRA FLATOW, Science Friday

"A great read." --RUDY MAXA, Rudy Maxa's World

"From Neolithic monuments that awe to 'playground casinos' that empty wallets, Ellard argues that a scientific understanding of how our surroundings affect us must be the foundation on which we build the cities and homes of tomorrow." --Discover

"Meshing recent findings with thoughtful appraisals of their implications, Ellard looks at spaces and the awe, lust, boredom, affection or anxiety that they trigger. He is richly insightful, particularly on digital encroachments into the experience of place." --Nature

"Wide-ranging and absorbing. . . . Powerfully and comprehensively written. . . . An exceptional introduction to a vital part of the human experience." --Colorado Review

"Ellard breaks down psychological and neurological information in an accessible way. . . . Highly recommended." --Book Riot

"Aren't architects and urban planners trained to design buildings and cities? Why should a psychologist have a say in this? Because Ellard brings tools to the design board that should help ensure more positive responses to urban environment, from a mundane alleyway to an awe-inspiring cathedral or city hall. . . . Places of the Heart should stimulate debate about how our cities are shaped and how they shape us." --Waterloo Region Record

"Ellard shows that simple distinctions between nature and culture tend to collapse where many modern technologies are concerned. . . . Many of the trends with which Ellard engages--such as virtual reality technology that would allow individuals to live in a curated, mediated, personalized, and highly commodified bubble--sound as if they were pulled from the pages of Ray Bradburyesque science fiction." --Quill & Quire

"If you care about your city and your happiness, read every page of this fascinating book. Places of the Heart offers a thrilling journey through the pathways of our cities and the human mind. This is no flight of fancy. It's an evidence-based exploration of how the places we inhabit change our minds and bodies. Colin Ellard is one of the world's foremost thinkers on the neuroscience of urban design. Here he offers an entirely new way to understand our cities--and ourselves." --CHARLES MONTGOMERY, author of Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design

"This beautifully written book grabs the reader from the start, with personal stories from the author's life interwoven with history, archaeology, technology, and design." --ESTHER M. STERNBERG, MD, author of Healing Spaces: The Science of Place and Well-Being

Praise for Colin Ellard

"One of the finest science writers I've ever read." --Los Angeles Times

"Delightfully lucid. . . . Ellard has a knack for distilling obscure scientific theories into practical wisdom." --New York Times Book Review

"[Ellard] mak[es] even the most mundane entomological experiment or exegesis of psychological geekspeak feel fresh and fascinating." --NPR

"[Ellard] entertain[s] us with an explanation of the cold, hard science [and] artfully constructed exploration[s] of how our relationship to spaces plays a huge part in making us human." --Quill & Quire

"Fascinating." --Globe and Mail

"Smart." --Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Delightful." --Publishers Weekly

"Ellard writes with admirable clarity." --Kirkus Reviews

"As an architect . . . [Ellard] took me on a journey to places I'd never even considered before." --SARAH SUSANKA, author of The Not So Big House