Lynch meets Moser: cognition, brain and environment

Abstract: The proposal of Cognition and the Built Environment (MØYSTAD, 2017) is that architecture is a basic mode of human cognition. The production as well as the use of our environment is a cognitive process in and of itself. Building a human environment relates to and is informed by the prior built environment. One of Christopher Alexander’s observations (1987) was that “building cities” actually means changing cities. Project by project. This insight carries implications for how we understand architecture, for how we understand the human brain, and for how they interact. This paper will outline (1) the interaction between some spatial and morphological properties of the built environment on one hand, and (2) some of the recently discovered properties of the brain on the other, which seem to mirror similar properties of the external environment. Based on these two sets of properties I will then (3) make a brief discussion of some theories that seem to suggest an outline, not complete but still useful, of the cognitive relationship between (1) and (2). Access the article here.




Ole Møystad


Estudos Semióticos - USP