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Summer School in Rome: Neuroergonomics and Urban Design

International Society of Biourbanism


Open P.I.S.M. Summer School

Neuroergonomics and Urban Design

Biourbanism for a Human-Centered Sustainability and Effectiveness

Artena (Rome, Italy) - 15–23 July 2012

An authentic sustainable design must deal with energy- and environment-saving technical solutions, and also with functional and restorative connections to the human neurophysiological system. Psychology and medicine show how space design can nurture or damage our well-being. A scientific knowledge, both theoretical and practical, of how human neurophysiology reacts to the organization and the shapes of space, is the first step for producing a really sustainable new design for the 21st century. This residential course is aimed at giving participants (architects, designers, engineers, psychologists, social scientists, and policy makers) a unique competence in a new field of practice and research, with relevant professional opportunities. This year we’ll welcome a group of 25 participants of different ages and backgrounds, including international students, scholars, policy makers, and professionals who are keen to specialize in Neuroergonomics.


Unique, dynamic, independent and international, ISB Design School is much more than a school of architecture and urbanism. Born as a global biourbanism research network, it aims at producing a real and effective human oriented design. Its high-profile events programme includes public lectures, symposia, seminars, workshops, research clusters and study trips. Tutors, lecturers and researchers are recognized specialists from several disciplines. School takes place at the ISB’s newly consolidated campus home in historical sites such as Artena  and Norma, near Rome, Italy.


  • I. Mimesis and Environment
  • Students will be introduced by practical experiments and scientific literature review to the acknowledgment of how forms and space affect cognitive abilities and psycho-biological conditions in order to perform friendly and comfortable design.
  • II. Design patterns and neurological patterns
  • Brain and space. Mirror neurons and Neuroesthetics. Design, stress, and comfort: from the Sick Building Syndrome to the Evidence-Based Design. From Kaplan’s Savanna theory (Darwinism) to Isomorphism (Evolution by self-organization). Abstraction and image: towards an ontology of design.
  • III. Algorithmic Sustainable Design
  • Cutting-edge mathematical techniques for a biophilic architectural and urban design.
  • IV. Body Consciousness and Neuroergonomics Space Analysis
  • Breath, Grounding, Equilibrium, Posture, Movement in Space, Active Listening, Refinement of the Senses. Centers, Wholeness and Visioning according to Christopher Alexander.
  • V. Practice drawing
  • According to the level of each student an introductory/middle/advanced practice of freehand drawing will be offered focusing on urban volumes, personal perception of space and colors, and emotional nuances, along with how space perception influences our drawings and how design can influence space perception.


Daily lectures will be accompanied by practical experiences, including drawing sessions, guided visits to important examples of architecture, urbanism and built landscapes of different ages, perception and psychometric exercises. Time will be devoted to enhancing participants’ innate abilities; to study how the environment affects human beings; to analyze the relationship between mimesis and creativity, and employ it for producing wellness-eliciting forms. Fundamentals of neurology, environmental psychology, anatomy, architecture and art related to the topics will be provided. In particular, classes will focus on specific design patterns related to different neurophysiological conditions. Different social and cultural implications of specific design choices will be actively discussed.

For further details, email Dr. S. Serafini - stefano.serafini@biourbanism.org


A. Caperna – Sapienza University, C. Fioravanti – Y.A.N.I., Y. Kryazheva – Yulia Ink., E. M. Mazzola – Notre Dame University, E. Mortola – Roma Tre University, F. Orsucci – University College London, A. Pierattini – University of Miami, N. A. Salingaros – Texas University, G. Scaramuzzo – Roma Tre University, S. Serafini – I.S.B., E. Tracada – University of Derby


Fee € 500,00 - Registration deadline: 15.06. 2012 - Payment deadline: 30.06.2012

Payment online: http://asi.uniroma3.it/moduli/npr/

Admission request and your CV should be emailed to Dr. S. Serafini stefano.serafini@biourbanism.org

Please note: Cheap and comfy accommodation facilities on request - Grants available - Great deal for visiting central Italy

LOCATION: The workshop will be held in (Rome), Italy, a beautiful and picturesque little town dating back to the 13th century and placed on a hill in the Lepini Mountains, 420 m above the sea level, and 40 km South of Rome. This is a perfect place to visit the fascinating surrounding area, with historical towns such as Palestrina, Segni, Anagni, Sermoneta and Norma, and many gorgeous natural beauties. It is located just 40 minutes from Rome (both by train or car). The climate is mild and this makes summer very pleasant.

ACCOMMODATION: Living and working together in a special biophilic and historical environment, it’s a relevant part of the ISB school experience. Students can be hosted in the historical village center enjoying the typical local architecture, with all comforts such as Wi-Fi internet access, buffet breakfast, air conditioning, and shuttle bus (or shuttle-mule, as this nice animal is still used in Artena today). ISB also has special agreements with restaurants in the area to provide a great Italian traditional cuisine experience at budget prices.

SOCIAL ACTIVITY: We will enjoy some excursions with stages of drawing/photography in order to live study sharp and amazing  biourban issues: the medieval city of Sermoneta and the Caetani Castle; the fabulous Garden of Ninfa designed by Lelia Caetani; the fascist “city of foundation” Sabaudia. The gorgeous beach of Sabaudia, next to the Mount Circeo, will give us a few hours of crystalline sea, sun, and relaxation.

www.biourbanism.org - info@biourbanism.org


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