Evaluating cognitive accessibility

Taking a cognitive perspective to architectural design is something architect Berta Brusilovsky Filer is passionate about. So she has written a book about it, Evaluating Cognitive Accessibility. Her free book is open access with the help of La Ciudad Accesible with the hope of reaching more people.

Cognitive accessibility is a fundamental aspect in the design of public spaces in the urban environment. At last this topic is receiving more attention in schools of design. The concept takes in easy reading, spatial orientation, signage and processes of interaction.

We rely on our brains to process information to make sense of the environment around us, but we don’t all process information in the same way. Consequently, if we design in a way that assists attention, perception, memory and problem solving, everyone benefits. Reducing cognitive load (too much going on) and maximising comprehension are key principles for independent movement around urban environments.

The book draws on the disciplines of architecture, social science and neuroscience, and presents an evaluation methodology for designers. However, it also provides a recent history of neuroscience and the role our brains play (or not) in making sense of things.

Lots of examples and photographs enhance this PDF publication. The chapter on recommendations covers the many elements of spatial orientation. The concluding chapter addresses the importance of involving people with cognitive conditions in the design process.

The full title of the free book is Evaluating Cognitive Accessibility: Scientific keys to strengthen the role of the evaluator with functional diversity.

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