Events / MindCORE/PCfN Seminar: Colin Ellard

MindCORE/PCfN Seminar: Colin Ellard

December 8, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

111 Levin Building

We will also stream this seminar via Zoom.
For the link, please contact us:


Colin Ellard
Department of Psychology
University of Waterloo


Messiness as the wellspring of freedom and autonomy in cities: Studies in urban psychology


In a time when we face wicked problems of urban densification, climate challenges and shortages of resources, it is easy to see the allure of responsive urban designs that automate, control and rationalize our use of the city. But studies in urban psychology, including some from my own lab, suggest that there is also virtue in messiness. I will describe some studies that show the human attraction to complexity, vitality and perhaps even disorder. I will speculate that such qualities are essential to good cities because they serve as the fount of our feelings of freedom and autonomy, part of the bedrock of human wellbeing.


A pizza lunch will be served. Please bring your own beverage.


This is a joint talk with the Penn Center for Neuroaesthetics (PCfN).