Past Event

Designing Space—Panel moderated by Paul Linton

September 20, 2023
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
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Online and in-person; Havemeyer Hall (Room 309), Columbia University, 3000 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

How do we experience space? And what are the implications for the spaces we design? This has been a central question of Architecture, throughout its history to the present day. More recently, designers in Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) are also beginning to grapple with this question. This event aims to bring together these two approaches to “spatial design” to see what they can learn from one another. It also aims to bring together two approaches to understanding “spatial experience” itself. On the one hand, contemporary architecture is influenced by Philosophy, specifically the “Phenomenological” tradition of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. On the other hand, the revolutionary tools of Neuroscience are now being used to explore the question of Architecture. Through this multidisciplinary exchange, we aim to deepen our understanding of how we experience space, and what this all means for “spatial design.”


  • Nitzan Bartov, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University
  • Anjan Chatterjee, Professor of Neurology, Psychology, and Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Steven Holl, Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University
  • Moderated by Paul Linton, Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience and Fellow of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University

Event Information:

Free and open to the public. Registration is required via Eventbrite. (Please visit the webpage of the Center for Science and Society for additional information. Please email [email protected] with any questions.) 

This event is hosted by the Presidential Scholars in Society and Neuroscience as part of the Seminars in Society and Neuroscience series. Co-sponsored by the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America and the Zuckerman Institute at Columbia University.

The Center for Science and Society makes every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with disabilities. If you require disability accommodations to attend a Center for Science and Society event, please contact us at [email protected] or (212) 854-0666 at least 10 days in advance of the event. For more information, please visit the campus accessibility webpage

Photo Credit: Iwan Baan