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Alvaro Siza Arq., Porto, Portugal

Salk Institute, San Diego, USA

Univ. of Tasmania, Australia

MB Collaborative, San Diego, USA

and Porto, Portugal

NAAD, Venice, Italy

Salk Institute, San Diego, USA 

Van Allen Institute, New York, USA

Univ. of Parma, Italy

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Álvaro Siza


Porto, Portugal

Álvaro Siza is one of the most distinguished and highly awarded architects in the world. He works in Porto, Portugal. "Every design," says Siza, "is a rigorous attempt to capture a concrete moment of a transitory image in all its nuances. The extent to which this transitory quality is captured, is reflected in the designs: the more precise they are, the more vulnerable."

Siza, whose full name is Álvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira, was born on June 25, 1933 in the small coastal town of Matosinhos, just north of Porto, Portugal. Siza studied at the University of Porto School of Architecture from 1949 through 1955, completing his first built works (four houses in Matosinhos) even before ending his studies in 1954.

In 1966, Siza began teaching at the University, and in 1976, he was made a tenured Professor of Architecture. In addition to his teaching there, he has been a visiting professor at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; the University of Pennsylvania; Los Andes University of Bogota; and the Ecole Polytechnique of Lausanne. In addition, he has been a guest lecturer at many universities and conferences throughout the world, from the United States, Colombia and Argentina to Spain, Germany, France, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and England in Europe.

He received the Pritzker Prize in 1992. He also received honors from foundations and institutions in Europe, including the Alvar Aalto Foundation Gold Medal in 1988, the renowned Mies van der Rohe Foundation Award the Borges & Irmao Bank in Vila do Conde, Portugal (1982-86) and many others.

Jeff Malpas

Philosophy Professor

University of Tasmania, Australia

Jeff Malpas is an Australian philosopher and is currently Emeritus Distinguished Professor at the University of Tasmania in Hobart and Distinguished Visiting Professor at LaTrobe University in Melbourne. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities and a Distinguished Fellow of the Australian Association of von Humboldt Fellows. Originally trained in philosophy and history at the Australian National University and the University of Auckland, his work has expanded over the last forty years to engage with a wide range of topics and disciplines, not only architecture, but also visual art, geography, literature, medicine, music, politics, sociology, and urban planning. He has worked with architects and designers at several universities in Australia and around the world, and was previously adjunct professor in architecture and design at RMIT University in Melbourne and was also attached to the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Tasmania.

At the centre of much of his work is a concern with questions of place and space (an obvious point of contact with architecture), as well as set of related issues concerning self, language, and the ethical. His approach is one that he describes as ‘topological’ or ‘topographic’ in character and is also heavily influenced by twentieth-century hermeneutical thinking. He is the author or editor of some 30 books, and has published over 150 articles in scholarly books and journals. Among his best-known works is Place and Experience: A Philosophical Topography (Routledge, 2018), described by Alberto Pérez-Gómez of McGill University as “a crucial contribution to our understanding of the deep connections between place and all things human. Transcending disciplinary boundaries, Place and Experience offers valuable lessons for architects, urban and environmental designers, and all those willing to challenge the seeming inevitability of homogeneous space and placelessness brought about by our technological civilization’. His most recent publication is Rethinking Dwelling: Heidegger, Place, Architecture (Bloomsbury, 2021).

Sarah Robinson

Arch. Professor, Author

Aalborg Univ., Denmark

NAAD, Venice, Italy

Sarah Robinson is an architect, writer and educator whose practice is based in Pavia, Italy. Her writing and research is concerned with the many ways that the built environment shapes body, mind and culture. Her books, Nesting: Body, Dwelling Mind (William Stout, 2011), Mind in Architecture: Neuroscience, Embodiment and the Future of Design with Juhani Pallasmaa (MIT, 2015) and Architecture is a Verb, (Routledge, 2021) are among the first works to engage the dialogue between architecture and the cognitive sciences.


Holding degrees in both philosophy and architecture, she was the founding president of the Frank Lloyd Wright school of architecture board of governors.


She is Adjunct Professor in Architecture, Design and Media Technology at Aalborg University, Denmark, and she is a member of the scientific board of NAAD at IUAV, Venice. 

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Sarah Williams Goldhagen

Author, Consultant

New York, USA

Sarah Williams Goldhagen, PhD. (Columbia University) and former Harvard professor, writes, lectures, and consults for a wide range of public and private clients on human centered design for the built environment. Her Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives (HarperCollins; also published in Chinese, Russian, and Korean) won a Nautilus Book Award in 2017 for its contribution to social and environmental justice, and Goldhagen was an opening-night Spotlight speaker at the AIA National Convention that same year.


A frequent keynote speaker, Goldhagen has won numerous awards and grants (including three from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts) for her writing on modern and contemporary architecture and landscapes and their psychological and cognitive effects on people. She has published several opinion pieces in the New York Times, served as Contributing Editor for Art in America and Architectural Record, and was the New Republic’s architecture critic for nearly a decade. Goldhagen also has had a distinguished academic career with scholarly publications that include Louis Kahn’s Situated Modernism (Yale University) and Anxious Modernisms: Experimentation in Postwar Architectural Culture (co-edited with Réjean Legault, MIT Press) as well as numerous essays and reviews in premier architecture- and art-historical journals.


Currently she sits on the Board of the Van Alen Institute, works closely with the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), and advises various clients on strategies for promoting and implementing human centered design.

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Sergei Gepshtein

Scientist, Professor

Salk Institute, San Diego, USA

USC, Los Angeles, USA

Dr. Sergei Gepshtein is a Scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego and Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. He works in the areas of perceptual psychology, systems neuroscience and computational neuroscience. His research interests include perception of depth and movement, perceptual organization, planning of multistep actions, and dynamics of cortical neural networks. 


At the Salk Institute, he is a member of the Center for the Neurobiology of Vision and Director of Collaboratory for Adaptive Sensory Technologies, which he founded with the goal to translate results of basic science toward applications ranging from architectural and urban design to forensic science. At the University of Southern California, he directs the Center for Spatial Perception & Concrete Experience – a platform for investigating spatial experience as a natural narrative process. His work has been supported by grants and awards from the National Eye Institute, the National Institute on Aging, the National Science Foundation, Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, Swartz Foundation for Theoretical Neuroscience, and National Institutes of Natural Sciences of Japan.

He is a founding member of the 5D | World Building Institute, an inaugural member of the Freeman Design Leadership Council, and an inaugural recipient of the Harold Hay Award from the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA). In 2016 he joined the Board of Directors of ANFA to facilitate mutual understanding of science and design professionals and to help build the foundation for a new discipline of design enlightened by results of systematic empirical inquiry.

He has developed a curriculum bridging concepts of space developed by different disciplines in science and design. He used this curriculum to teach undergraduate and graduate courses at the University of Southern California and at NewSchool of Architecture and Design.

Tatiana Berger

Architect, Urban Designer Professor MB Collaborative, USA

and Portugal

Tatiana Berger (M.Arch, Princeton University, B.A. in Arch., UC Berkeley) is an architect, urban designer and educator. She has worked for over 30 years in the U.S., Portugal, Spain and Austria. Her built works, collaborations and community plans were published in international periodicals and presented in exhibitions in Europe and U.S.  Berger worked with Richard Meier in New York,  was Director of the Sochi Olympics 2014 project for ILF Engineers and project architect for Baumschlager-Eberle in Bregenz, Austria. From 1997-2004 she worked as project architect and manager in the office of Alvaro Siza in Porto. Berger's built work, designed in collaboration with architects named above, is found in Porto, Lisbon and Viana do Castelo in Portugal, and also in Austria, the Netherlands, China, Russia and the U.S. In addition to architecture, her experience in professional practice includes landscape design and urban planning, furniture/product design, and construction administration.     ​

Berger is Founder of Moving Boundaries Collaborative, which provides educational services and design/consulting services. She is guest lecturer at NAAD in Venice, ETH Zurich, NeuroArq Brazil, NAD Chile, and Artclever. She was Associate Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at the NewSchool of Architecture & Design in San Diego and Professor of Architecture at the Boston Architectural College. A member of the Advisory Council of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA), she developed a new curriculum in architectural theory and studio with a focus on ANFA themes as faculty in the pioneering Neuroscience for Architecture Program at NewSchool. In her role as Liaison for Education and curator of lecture series and symposia, she leads the ANFA Center for Education (ACE), an international forum for educators dedicated to reimagining design education. ​

​She is co-founder of the Compostela Institute, a laboratory for research and education in environmental design, providing courses and workshops since 2010 in anthropology, cultural studies and building crafts in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She has lectured internationally on topics in architectural theory, urbanism and health, regionalism, and transdisciplinary design education. She is increasingly involved in research in dynamic sensory experience of the built environment informed by knowledge from the human sciences. 

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Thomas D. Albright

Neuroscience Professor

Salk Institute, San Diego, USA

Dr. Thomas D. Albright is Professor and Conrad T. Prebys Chair at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he is Director of the Center for the Neurobiology of Vision and Adjunct Professor of Psychology and Neurosciences at the University of California, San Diego. He specializes in the neural basis of visual perception, memory and visually guided behavior.


He seeks to understand how visual perception is affected by attention, behavioral goals, and memories of previous experiences. An important goal of this work is the development of therapies for blindness and perceptual impairments resulting from disease, trauma or developmental disorders of the brain. A second aim of his work is to use our growing knowledge of brain, perception and memory to inform design in architecture and the arts, and to leverage societal decisions and public policy.

He received a Ph.D. in psychology and neuroscience from Princeton University. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and an associate of the Neuroscience Research Program. He is past-president of the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (2012-2014), a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Science, Technology, and Law, and a member of the U.S. National Commission on Forensic Science.

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Vittorio Gallese

Neuroscience Professor

University of Parma, Italy

Vittorio Gallese, MD, studied medicine at the University of Parma, Parma, Italy, and was awarded a degree in Neurology in 1990. He is a Full Professor of Psychobiology Dept. of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Parma, Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, School of Advanced Study of the University of London, UK and Adjunct Senior Research Scholar at the Dept. of Art History and Archeology, Columbia University, New York, USA. He is coordinator of the PhD Program in Neuroscience and Director of the Doctoral School of Medicine of the University of Parma. As a cognitive neuroscientist, his research focuses on the relationship between the sensory-motor system and cognition, both in non-human primates and humans using a variety of neurophysiological and functional neuroimaging techniques applied to the study of intersubjectivity, empathy, language, mindreading and aesthetics. Among his major contributions is the discovery, together with the colleagues of Parma, of mirror neurons, and the elaboration of a theoretical model of basic aspects of social cognition, Embodied Simulation Theory. 

Gallese has done research at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, at the Nihon University, Tokyo, Japan, at the University of California at Berkeley and at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain of the Humboldt University of Berlin. He has been George Miller visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley. In 2007 he received together with Giacomo Rizzolatti and Leonardo Fogassi the Grawemeyer Award for Psychology, for the discovery of mirror neurons. He received the Doctor Honoris Causa from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium in 2009. He received the Arnold Pfeffer Prize for Neuropsychoanalysis from the International Society of Neuropsychoanalysis, New York, U.S.A in 2010, the Musatti Prize from the Italian Psychoanalytic Society in 2013, the Kosmos Fellowship from the Berlin School of Mind and Brain in 2014, the Einstein Fellowship for 2016-2020, and the Alexander von Humboldt Forschung Preis in 2019. Gallese has published over 300 papers in international peer-reviewed journals and edited books and three books.

Alvaro Siza
Jeff Malpas
Sarah Robinson
Sergei Gepshtein
Tatiana Berger
Sarha Williams Goldhage
Thomas Albright
Vittorio Gallese
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