Psychological Architectures

November 2017 Issue

Exterior reality reflects the interior. This relationship can extend in both directions. At home we may surround ourselves with significant objects and build our spaces into extensions of our mental states -- attics of memory, basements of the subconscious, rooms housing hopes, desires, and practical working recall. Conversely, city planning and civic architecture have long been tools to shape the psyches of their inhabitants from the top down, to utopian or dystopian purpose. But how is the mind itself structured? What can be observed from outside? Its complexity defies analogy, but we try anyway -- neurons may be forests of interlocked branches, interconnected circuits become labyrinths, the optic lobe the ultimate movie theater. This month's issue explores the dual subjects of psychology and architecture, winding through asylums and laboratories, family homes and crumbling apartment blocks that nonetheless nurture dreams. The design of our environments is inherently connected to and expressed by our thinking. Sometimes, inner and outer worlds may be the same.

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