UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


IEDE staff speak at FCBS Studios event

24 April 2018

UCL IEDE staff explore the way design influences our lives at FCBS Studios panel event.


On 20 February 2018 Dr Marcella Ucci and Professor Jian Kang from UCL IEDE spoke at a panel event on ‘Comfort and perception in space’ at FCB Studios. The evening was chaired by Ian Taylor, Managing Partner at FCBCStudios, who highlighted the long-standing collaboration with UCL IEDE.

The focus of the event was to explore the ways that design influences our lives without us even noticing.

Professor Jian Kang’s discussed soundscape creation: towards a comfortable, happy and healthy space. First, he highlighted the significant effect of noise pollution (i.e. the social cost of transport noise is 0.2–2% of GDP).

He then introduced the growing field of Soundscape study, by adopting an interdisciplinary approach to consider how the sound environment is perceived in context International Standards Organisation (ISO). Then through examples, he demonstrated a proposed framework for soundscape design.

This leads on to his current five-year ERC on establishing Soundscape Indices (SSID) about adequately reflecting levels of human comfort.

Dr Marcella Ucci discussed the health impacts of the places we live and work in, with a focus on the interactions between ‘social’ and ‘physical’ environments. Taking the issue of obesogenic environments as a case study, Dr Ucci outlined the evidence for designing active environments.

Drawing from research projects such as Active Buildings, she illustrated how behaviour is very important when considering health and wellbeing, and that the interaction between physical and social environments should not be underestimated - even if designers may not always have direct control over social environments.

Dr Ucci concluded that in order to design for health and wellbeing we need to put people first – new multi-disciplinary approaches are required. In this respect, she highlighted the launch of a new Master’s programme at IEDE, which has started this year on Health, Wellbeing and Sustainable Buildings.