The Environmental Psychology of Care (Fall, 2018)

David Chapin (The Graduate Center, Environmental Psychology)
Tomoaki Imamichi (LaGuardia Community College, Social Science)

Thursdays, 11:45am-1:45pm
Course Number: 63320
Listed in: Interdisciplinary Studies; Environmental Psychology; Women’s and Gender Studies; Earth and Environmental Sciences

Experiencing Places of Care.
Taking advance of the diverse settings and opportunities of New York City, this course includes field trips (such as Roosevelt Island, a Japanese Tea Room, and a guerrilla garden), phenomenological experiments (e.g. traveling with a stroller or suitcase through different environments), and guest speakers (possibly from the Adaptive Design Association and the Ramapough-Lenape Nation).

Understanding Care by Exploring Environments of anti-care.
We will focus briefly on concepts of power and how they are actualized in issues such as racism, class distinctions and the like; techniques of exclusion, exploitation, deflection and distraction. Who benefits?

The Architecture of Care: Caring for the Community.
Through readings, visual examples, and discussions, we will explore and analyze how the built environment enables and disables people, and what caring environments entail. Some of our focus will be on institutional settings, but we will also look carefully at everyday environments—environments designed for diversity and inclusion which allow people with diverse abilities, different cultural backgrounds and possible conflicting needs to feel welcome and participate in society.

Sustainability by Design: Caring for Our future.
How do architecture, urban design and policies of justice lead to more sustainable practices? We will consider innovative new building techniques and designs, as well as existing models of neighborhoods, global cities, and cultural traditions.

Environmental Attitudes of Care.
We will investigate different ideological and philosophical approaches with implications of how we relate to the environment, ranging from existential approaches of “being-in-the-world” to concepts of “dwelling” and wabi-sabi (an appreciation for imperfection and the aged) and how these attitudes can be manifested in practice, objects and the built environment.

Contemporary Issues of Care.
We must also consider care (and the lack of) in the evolving context of virtual environments, screen-life, and technological advances such as “care-giving” robots and “artificial emotions.”

Working in small groups, we will expect each class member to actively apply concepts from the class to a project defined as significant by the group.


The Futures Initiative
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016-4309