Designing Space

Seminars in Society and Neuroscience
September 20th, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at Morningside

How do we experience space? And what does this mean for the spaces we design? We explore these questions by bringing together speakers from Architecture, Neuroscience, and Virtual Reality, with two specific aims: First, we explore what Architecture and Virtual Reality can learn from each other, as two distinct approaches to “spatial design”. Whilst spatial experience has long been a central question of Architecture, Virtual Reality is only beginning to grapple with these questions, as technology transitions from 2D screens to 3D spatial interfaces. Second, we explore the nature of spatial experience itself, with two approaches to understanding the human mind. Whilst contemporary Architecture is influenced by Philosophy (specifically the “Phenomenological” tradition), the tools of Neuroscience are increasingly being applied to questions of Architecture as well. Through this multidisciplinary exchange we hope to deepen our understanding of spatial experience, and how it informs the physical and virtual spaces we design.

Event Speakers

Nitzan Bartov, Designer, Meta Reality Labs Research

Anjan Chatterjee, Professor of Neurology, Psychology, and Architecture, University of Pennsylvania

Steven Holl, Professor of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation, Columbia University

Moderated by Paul Linton, Presidential Scholar in Society and Neuroscience and Fellow of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, Columbia University

Online and in-person; Havemeyer Hall (Room 309), Columbia University, 3000 Broadway, New York, NY 10027

Event Information

Free and open to the public. Registration is required via Eventbrite. Online attendees will receive a Zoom link from Eventbrite. Please email with any questions.

This event is hosted by 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 or (212) 854-0666 at least 10 days in advance of the event. For more information, please visit the campus accessibility webpage.


Sep 20 2023


6:30 pm - 8:00 pm


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Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)



Columbia University - Havemeyer Hall

Other Locations



Columbia University - Zuckerman Institute
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