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Andlinger Center Events

HIGHLIGHT SEMINAR – Experiential Design Schemas: Connecting People and Nature Through Architecture and Building Science (with Gail Brager)

Date: April 11, 2024

Time: 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Location: Maeder Hall Auditorium

Andlinger Center Highlight Seminar Series

Experiential Design Schemas: Connecting People and Nature Through Architecture and Building Science

Gail Brager

Distinguished Professor of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley

This work addresses two prevalent problems inhabitants face in contemporary buildings: 1) Experiential monotony: static, uniform, neutral conditions that ignore individuals’ diversity and agency, and 2) Nature disconnection: isolation from nature’s patterns and dynamic forces. The book Experiential Design Schemas is about creating rich, multisensory, positive experiences in buildings, bridging scientists’ data-driven language with architects’ poetic, sensorial perspectives. It links interdisciplinary research evidence and pragmatic design principles to choreograph visual, thermal, acoustic and olfactory elements of sensescapes that connect people to nature’s rhythms, countering the fallacy of neutrality and embracing the richness of variability. It proposes bringing people to the center of design intentions, in support of enhancing occupant well-being and environmental stewardship.

Brager is a Distinguished Professor of Architecture at UC Berkeley in their Building Science, Technology & Sustainability program, and the Associate Director of the Center for the Built Environment (CBE), an industry/university collaborative research center with over 50 diverse partners from the building industry. Since joining the faculty in 1984, Professor Brager has remained passionate about teaching and conducting cutting-edge applied research addressing the design, operation, and assessment of person-centered, place-based buildings that enhance indoor environmental quality and occupant experience, respond to local climate and culture, and minimize energy consumption. Trained in the research-based discipline of mechanical engineering, Brager has a long history of international, interdisciplinary collaboration with design professionals and social scientists. In addition to her CBE leadership, Brager holds other University administrative positions as the Director of the Center for Environmental Design Research and Associate Dean of UC Berkeley’s Graduate Division. Her awards include NSF’s Presidential Young Investigator Award, Progressive Architecture Research Award, AIA Education Award, Places/EDRA award for Place-based research, several Best Paper Awards, and UC Berkeley’s Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship. Brager has just completed a book co-authored with Prof Mark DeKay, Experiential Design Schemas, intersecting building and health sciences with architectural design, and aimed at helping architects expand the joy and nature connections possible in buildings. Author of 100+ publications and leader in the Women in Green movement, Professor Brager’s greatest pride comes from mentoring students, and watching them grow and excel in their own journeys to have an impact on the world.

All seminars are held from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Lunch is provided at 12:00 noon.
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