Engaging the Mind: Neuroscience in the Design Process

Special Issue for the Journal of Interior Design
Under the auspices of Interior Design Educators Council

Engaging the Mind: Neuroscience in the Design Process
Jon Otis & Eve Edelstein, co-editors

There is a growing need to address the ways in which evolving scientific understandings of neuroscience and cognition can influence and improve the design field. With this proposed topic, we hope to cultivate an intellectual space for bringing together the various threads and discussions that illuminate the potential for neuroscience-informed design.

This special issue invites visual essays, research papers, and case studies that explore the potential for neuroscience-informed design as it relates to interiors. Possible submissions might engage with the following issues:

  • The ways in which designed environments affect neurological functioning
  • The neurological processes responsible for our perceptions moving through a building or interacting with a designed object
  • How research on the mind can influence the way in which academics and professionals approach design, and how design professionals can reciprocally influence the way neuroscientists consider their research on perception and meaning
  • The neurological underpinnings of why certain architectural structures, interior spaces and objects or other art forms are more pleasing to behold than others
  • The complex balance designers, architects and artists must navigate in the design process between creating forms that are easy to process neurologically and those that challenge the beholder, that activate rather than calm
  • How we can begin to shape our environments so they are intelligent to the needs of the people inhabiting and interacting with them
  • How to optimize design for better brain function, particularly in specialized environments such as classrooms, workplaces, NICUs, and senior living facilities
  • How buildings are cognitive entities that modulate and inform when inhabited based on the interactions with people within them

Submissions should expand and question our conventional understandings of the topic and its complex relationships to interior space. All work must demonstrate exceptional rigor in the search for new knowledge and ideas. Papers must be original work of the author or authors and are not being considered for publication in other journals. Submissions may be checked for originality using plagiarism-detection software.

Due Dates for Special Issue

March 1, 2020 Registration of Interest – Authors are asked to register their intent to
submit a paper by sending a 150-word abstract to Jon Oits at
jotis@pratt.edu. Please put your surname and “JID Special Issue” in the subject line. Registration of interest is not refereed, nor is it a requirement to submit. However, the acknowledgement of registration facilitates development of a proposal to full research paper by providing confirmation of fit with the special issue. Recognition of fit does not guarantee publication.
January 4, 2021 Full submissions are due. See author guidelines found on JID’s website at Wiley Blackwell.
March 2022 Publication of JID Special issue
For questions regarding the call for papers, submission deadlines, or anything related to the content of the Special Issue contact Jon Otis at jotis@pratt.edu. Please put your surname and “JID Special Issue” in the subject line.

Guidelines for JID Submissions

Authors should follow the guidelines found on JID’s website at Wiley Blackwell. Please note the unique guidelines for Articles versus Visual Essays. Perspectives and Letters are by invitation only.

Technical questions regarding the submission of documents through the ScholarOne website should be addressed to Kathleen Sullivan, Editorial Assistant (assistant.jid@gmail.com). We will forward all emails from that point forward to her replacement.

The Journal of Interior Design is a scholarly, refereed publication dedicated to issues related to the design of the interior environment. Scholarly inquiry representing the entire spectrum of interior design theory, research, education and practice is invited. Submissions are encouraged from educators, designers, anthropologists, architects, historians, psychologists, sociologists, or others interested in interior design.

Guest Editors

  • Jon Otis, M.S., IDEC, IIDA, professor at Pratt Institute and Principal and Creative Director of Object Agency.
  • Eve Edelstein, Ph.D., research director at Perkins + Will.
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