On July 11th I’ll be running a workshop as part of the BMW Guggenheim Lab in Berlin. The lab is a temporary public space, in the neighbourhood of Prenzlauer Berg, dedicated to encouraging ‘open dialogue about issues related to urban living’. I’ve been invited by Corinne Rose, a psychologist and artist who has an interest in microanalyzing urban environments.
I’ll be giving a talk about the psychology of attention and perception in the city, and the leading a tour out into Berlin on an ‘experience treasure hunt’ where we’ll be trying to collect some interesting experiences of attention in the city. Here’s the blurb for my talk.
Lens and filters: the mind and the city
The city trains you to both see and unsee. There is a riot of experience available in cities, which stimulates our hearts and heads, but for everything you see there are things you have to unsee. We can use illusions, tricks and curiosities to focus back on the psychological processes which generate our experience of the city. In this session I will give an introduction to the study of perception and to some of the fascinating psychology research about living in cities. For the second part we will venture into the city on a “treasure hunt” for experiences which illustrate something important about how our minds respond to the city or how the city affects our minds. The hope is that by putting our own lens and filters to inspection we can gain a deeper understanding of how both cities and ourselves work.
I’ve got a few ideas for the treasure hunt aspect, which I’ll blog about shortly. The session is due to start at 3pm, I think, and it would be great to see any mindhacks.com readers there. In particular, if you are Berlin based psychologist (studying or practicing) and fancy helping out with some of the demonstrations, I’d love to hear from you before the 11th.