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OU on Channel 4: The Secret Life Of Buildings

Updated Monday 1st August 2011

The Open University comes to Channel 4 with a major new series, as Tom Dyckhoff explores how we shape buildings - and how their designs shape us.

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The logo for the Secret Lives Of Buildings Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission

We spend 85% of our time inside but do we ever stop to think how the design of a building is affecting us? Architecture can change the way we feel, the way we behave, it can even change our brain.

Are we so obsessed with iconic exteriors that we’ve stopped thinking about the people inside them?

Architecture critic Tom Dyckhoff presents a three-part series looking at how architecture affects us at home, work and play, and discovers the secret ways that buildings profoundly influence our behaviour, feelings and wellbeing.

He embarks on a mischievous journey inside some of the world’s most beautiful architecture and into the buildings in which we live and work.

Abandoning his usual approach of looking at empty buildings, this series sees Dyckhoff immerse himself in the lives of the people who use them everyday.

He’ll show how we have hard-wired desires about what we want from our spaces, and reveal how architects – and businesses - manipulate these desires.

In a series of experiments, he will explore the emerging science of space with the world’s leading environmental psychologists, behaviourists, philosophers and neurologists.

Armed with this new knowledge, Dyckhoff meets some of today’s pre-eminent architects including Norman Foster, Richard Rodgers and Zaha Hadid to re-evaluate their creations with new eyes.

He challenges their assumptions by bringing the architects face-to-face with the people who actually use their buildings every day and argues that architecture should be less about ego, art and economics and more about environmental psychology and individual well-being.

Wherever you live and work: you’re never going to feel the same about buildings again.

Design: tell us what works, and hear from the experts

The Secret Life Of Buildings


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