PHILOSOPHY

Lance’s work explores ways to improve the impact of design—socially, economically, and environmentally.

SOCIAL IMPACT. People spend 90% of their time indoors, and for the first time in human history more people lives in cities than don’t. So even when we are outdoors, we are surrounded by buildings, which directly affect human health and happiness.

ECONOMIC IMPACT. The building sector accounts for nearly 40% of global GDP. The planning, production, and operation of buildings represent enormous investments and potentially enormous returns.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT. In the US, the built environment accounts for nearly half of greenhouse gas emissions and three-quarters of electricity use. We cannot address the challenge of climate change without reinventing buildings.

Society and industry are at a threshold moment, and buildings are an essential means for adapting to new challenges. Design is the key. Research shows that up to 90% of the eventual impact of buildings is determined with the earliest design decisions—their location, size, shape, etc. There is a relationship between form and performance. How can buildings best embody the intersections of people, purpose, and place? 

The profession of architecture traditionally has focused primarily on aesthetics—the "look and feel" of buildings. Can we shift our values to make buildings as much about impact as they are about image? An emerging wealth of research in environmental psychology, neuroscience, and other fields reveals how people respond to space, scale, form, light, color, pattern, and texture—the designer's toolkit. If every designer understood more about the mechanics of attraction, buildings and cities could both look good and be good for you.

This opportunity is nothing short of a revolution waiting to happen.

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