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University College London and RISE Research Institutes of Sweden launch pioneering bilateral collaboration in NeuroDesign and NeuroArchitecture for future innovation

20 May 2024, 08:03

A new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between RISE, Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and UCL (University College London) as a direct manifestation of the new bilateral innovation and research agreement between Sweden and the UK. With a shared commitment to research excellence, the research team aims to explore the new interdisciplinary fields of NeuroArchitecture and NeuroDesign: How the human brain interacts with built environments, and how understanding this can contribute to the design of sustainable environments that enhance health and well-being.

The collaborative effort between Sweden and the UK illustrates a shared dedication to outstanding scientific research and sustainable development. RISE is committed to driving positive societal change through international collaborations, and UCL is a world-leading comprehensive university, excelling in neuroscience and architecture. Sweden's reputation as pioneers in adopting and implementing innovative solutions sets a compelling example. Meanwhile, the UK brings a strong research infrastructure with groundbreaking laboratories, emphasising interdisciplinary research and combining fields like neuroscience, architecture, and psychology to cultivate a comprehensive understanding of how the built environment influences health and wellbeing. This joint vision unites the diverse expertise and innovative culture of both nations, establishing a novel model for research and development to help tackle global challenges.

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Carina Carlman, Director of Research and Business Development, RISE, Marco Lucisano, Senior Vice President, Built Environments, RISE, David Shanks Professor and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Brain Sciences, Experimental Psychology, UCL, Hugo Spiers Professor and Vice Dean, Enterprise & Innovation, Faculty of Brain Sciences, UCL    Photo: UCL Global Engagement/Kirsten Holst

 

Carina Carlman, Director of Research and Business Development at RISE, leading the work to establish the scientific field in Sweden, says:

“By deepening the understanding of NeuroArchitecture and NeuroDesign, we can identify keys and tools to shape future living environments in a way that supports health and wellbeing. We address these challenges by collaborating for providing new insights into how conscious design choices can help balance risk and resilience factors, promoting healthier living on a global scale.”

 

Isabelle Sjövall, Neurodesigner and Brain Researcher at the Institute of Behavioral Neuroscience, UCL, says: 
“We know that the surrounding environment significantly impacts people's mental health and quality of life to a large extent. However, more research is needed to investigate how different factors in the built environment relate to one another and affect health and wellbeing, taking a holistic perspective into consideration. Identifying specific risk- and resilience factors in architecture and design, and how these impact cognition, behaviours, and emotions, have groundbreaking potential to help shape future living environments and positive outcomes.” 

Prof. Hugo Spiers, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Behavioral Neuroscience, and Vice Dean of Enterprise & Innovation Faculty of Brain Sciences, UCL, says:

“New UCL facilities for simulating real environments (e.g. UCL PEARL*) and mobile brain recording make it possible for us now to gain a much richer understanding of how the human brain is impacted and supported by the built environment. Working with RISE will enable us to connect these new research tools with innovations in implementation of health and sustainable environments, to improve human health and wellbeing.”

* Person Environment Activity Research Laboratory, London

Marco Lucisano, Senior Vice President, Built Environments at RISE, says:
"As society's challenges become increasingly complex, more innovators are needed. This new alliance creates a joint force that highlights the importance of leveraging the combined expertise and resources of both nations in research, innovation, and sustainability. Through this joint effort, we can together create a strong force for movement in both research and applied development to address society's complex challenges with new, applicable, innovative methods".

 

Dr Fiona Zisch, Researcher in Architecture and Neuroscience and Programme Director MArch Design for Performance and Interaction, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, says:

“The arts, humanities, and design fields have a rich history of intersecting with and being informed by relevant disciplines studying mind, brain, and body. Twentieth century interdisciplinary work across architecture, design, technology, and the brain sciences has already yielded substantial knowledge which is now being expanded further into transdisciplinary research that integrates further fields of study and more ecologically rich approaches. This is and will be enabling further insights and innovations, leading to more diverse and inclusive understandings of the interplay between different environments and their inhabitants.”


A joint vision to accelerate human, environmental and economic sustainability

The team's work is strongly aligned with the United Nations' Global Goals, which focus on human, ecological, and economic sustainability. With a joint vision to address urgent challenges by offering new perspectives on how conscious design choices can better balance risk and resilience factors in the built environments, contributing to healthier living environments for people and planet.

 

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Marco Lucisano, Senior Vice President, Build Environments at RISE, Marika Amartey Kaliff, Science and Innovation Councellor, Embassy of Sweden in UK, Mikael Mattsson, Senior Researcher, RISE, Carina Carlman, Director of Research and Business Development, RISE, Raul Carlsson, Senior Researcher RISE, Isabelle Sjövall, Neurodesigner and Brain Researcher at the Institute of Behavioral Neuroscience, UCL, Andreas Johansson, Marketing  Director, RISE, Fiona Zisch, Researcher in Architecture and Neuroscience and Programme Director MArch Design for Performance and Interaction, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, Hugo Spiers, Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Institute of Behavioral Neuroscience, and Vice Dean of Enterprise & Innovation Faculty of Brain Sciences, UCL  Photo: UCL Global Engagement/Kirsten Holst


Media contact:
Carina Carlman 
Director of Research & Business Development, Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE)
carina.carlman@ri.se
+46 73 093 91 76

 

 


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About UCL – London’s Global University 
UCL is a diverse global community of world-class academics, students, industry links, external partners, and alumni. Our powerful collective of individuals and institutions work together to explore new possibilities.Since 1826, we have championed independent thought by attracting and nurturing the world's best minds. Our community of more than 50,000 students from 150 countries and over 16,000 staff pursues academic excellence, breaks boundaries and makes a positive impact on real world problems.

The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2024, we are consistently ranked among the top 10 universities in the world and are one of only a handful of institutions rated as having the strongest academic reputation and the broadest research impact.

We have a progressive and integrated approach to our teaching and research – championing innovation, creativity and cross-disciplinary working. We teach our students how to think, not what to think, and see them as partners, collaborators and contributors. For almost 200 years, we are proud to have opened higher education to students from a wide range of backgrounds and to change the way we create and share knowledge.

We were the first in England to welcome women to university education and that courageous attitude and disruptive spirit is still alive today. We are UCL.

Read more at www.ucl.ac.uk

 

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About RISE – Research Institutes of Sweden
RISE is the Swedish research institute and innovation partner for every part of society. Through international collaboration with industry, academia, and the public sector, we contribute to a competitive business community and a sustainable society. Our 3,000 employees drive and support all types of innovation processes. RISE is an independent, state-owned research institute that offers unique expertise and about 130 testbeds and demonstration environments for future-proof technologies, products, and services.

Read more at www.ri.se