The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness
By Emily Anthes
A fascinating, thought-provoking, and at times alarming journey into our built environment
The benefits of nature are well documented. Regular forays into the natural world have been shown to have pronounced, positive effects on our physical and mental health. But how often do any of us get to take a weeklong camping trip?
The truth is, we spend the majority of our lives shuttling between homes and offices, schools and hospitals. While this may be an inescapable reality of the modern urban condition, it also begs the question: What effect do the environments we've built for ourselves have on our mental and physical well-being? In this wide-ranging, character-driven book, Emily Anthes takes us on a trip that starts with the microscopic (the surprising and rather horrifying array of microbes with which we share our homes) and ends with the big picture (what buildings on Mars would have to look like in order to sustain life). Along the way, she visits a fascinating array of scientists, architects, and other professionals working on the cutting edge of design.
Ranging from smart operating rooms that decrease human error to schools constructed to enhance learning, and from apartment buildings designed for neuroatypical residents to offices engineered for maximum comfort and efficiency, The Great Indoors is an argument for thoughtful interventions in the built environment and a celebration of the adaptive genius of human beings. Published by Farrar, Straus and Girous 2020.
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