The Shaping of Us: How Everyday Spaces Structure Our Lives, Behavior, and Well-Being


Product Details

$26.95  $25.06
Trinity University Press
Publish Date
6.2 X 1.2 X 9.0 inches | 1.3 pounds

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About the Author

Lily Bernheimer is a researcher, writer, and consultant in environmental psychology. She is founding director of Space Works Consulting, with offices in the United States and the United Kingdom, which aims to make everyday spaces work for the people and purposes they serve. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


"Environmental psychologist Bernheimer provides a fascinating introduction to her field in this far-reaching look at how the spaces in which humans live, work, and play affect their behavior... Readers will finish this feeling better educated about the role of design and more alert to its impact on everyone's lives."-- Publishers Weekly

"Just a great book. Few things matter more than the spaces we inhabit, and Bernheimer convincingly states the case for design that accepts humanity as we actually are. You will never look at your neighbor, home or office quite the same way ever again." -- Tim Wu, author of The Attention Merchants and The Curse of Bigness.

"How do our environments--built, natural, and biological--fit or fail to fit our needs as human beings? Lily Bernheimer takes us on a tour, a tour de force, of illuminating cases, with sage advice for those who design spaces for human beings to live humane lives."-- George Lakoff, author of Where Mathematics Comes From: How the Embodied Mind Brings Mathematics into Being

"We have built an urban environment for ourselves, and it shapes us in return. In order to become happier and more effective humans, Bernheimer shows us how we must modify our cities, workplaces, and homes. Her book is an ideal introduction to this essential task."

-- Max Jacobson, co-author of A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction

"In this exceptionally readable book, Bernheimer has translated research findings and design practice into a highly engaging account of how we interact with and mold the spaces around us. She shows us that with more thought and imagination, our buildings and cities could provide us with more stimulating, rewarding, and livable environments." -- David Uzzell, professor of environmental psychology, University of Surrey

"You are going to be transported by what Bernheimer has to say. You'll make different decisions and figure out how your brain is working and what should be prioritized in your life." -- Jo Good, BBC London

"At a time when so much of life is lived online, Bernheimer's fascinating book offers an accessible, deeply researched, and worldly exploration of the way concrete environments shape how we feel about our lives and the world around us."-- J. K. Dineen, author of Here Tomorrow: Preserving Architecture, Culture, and California's Golden Dream

"An analysis of how we could design the whole of our environment to be better... She sets out to entertainingly chart the 20th-century history of research into how where we are shapes who we are. It's a timely volume given the current level of interest in the relationship between buildings and health."-- Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs Magazine