The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness

Emily Anthes. Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-374-16663-2
Journalist Anthes (Frankenstein’s Cat) explores cutting-edge innovations in architecture and interior design in her enjoyable and educational work of pop science. Most chapters focus on a particular type of indoor space and recent efforts to improve it—for example, hospitals being designed with more green space, or offices planned with both worker productivity and comfort in mind. Some of the most intriguing chapters pertain to improving the lives of vulnerable or marginalized individuals, as with housing developments built specifically for adults with autism, who often have certain sensory or socialization issues, or just need extra help to live on their own. Elsewhere, Anthes discusses the harshness of prisons designed to “control, shame and stigmatize,” and contrasts that with a California facility where a more open plan resulted in a considerable improvement in inmate behavior. Ending on a fun note, Anthes outlines the work of “space architects” designing structures for habitation on Mars. Though far from a rigorous scientific study, this thoughtful work will prompt readers to more carefully consider the spaces they commonly inhabit but may rarely think about. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/09/2020
Release date: 07/07/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-6620-0286-1
Compact Disc - 978-1-6620-0282-3
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-250-79881-7
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