- This event has passed.
- August 24, 2020
- Event Category:
- Author Events
presenting The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness
in conversation with CARL ZIMMER
Harvard Book Store’s virtual event series welcomes EMILY ANTHES—award-winning science journalist and author of Frankenstein’s Cat—for a discussion of her latest book, The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health, and Happiness. She will be joined in conversation by celebrated science writer CARL ZIMMER, author of She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity.
Contribute to Support Harvard Book Store
While payment is not required, we are suggesting a $3 contribution to support this author series, our staff, and the future of Harvard Book Store—a locally owned, independently run Cambridge institution. In addition, by purchasing a copy of The Great Indoors on harvard.com, you support indie bookselling and the writing community during this difficult time.
About The Great Indoors
Modern humans are an indoor species. We spend 90 percent of our time inside, shuttling between homes and offices, schools and stores, restaurants and gyms. And yet, in many ways, the indoor world remains unexplored territory. For all the time we spend inside buildings, we rarely stop to consider: How do these spaces affect our mental and physical well-being? Our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors? Our productivity, performance, and relationships?
In this wide-ranging, character-driven book, science journalist Emily Anthes takes us on an adventure into the buildings in which we spend our days, exploring the profound, and sometimes unexpected, ways that they shape our lives. Drawing on cutting-edge research, she probes the pain-killing power of a well-placed window and examines how the right office layout can expand our social networks. She investigates how room temperature regulates our cognitive performance, how the microbes hiding in our homes influence our immune systems, and how cafeteria design affects what—and how much—we eat.
Along the way, Anthes takes readers into an operating room designed to minimize medical errors, a school designed to boost students’ physical fitness, and a prison designed to support inmates’ psychological needs. And she previews the homes of the future, from the high-tech houses that could monitor our health to the 3D-printed structures that might allow us to live on the Moon.
The Great Indoors provides a fresh perspective on our most familiar surroundings and a new understanding of the power of architecture and design. It’s an argument for thoughtful interventions into the built environment and a story about how to build a better world—one room at a time.
Praise for The Great Indoors
“The Great Indoors is that rare book that remains both honest and optimistic about the problems we face, from pandemic disease to social isolation, and―even better―is ambitious enough to identify real potential for change surrounding us in the architecture of our daily lives. Inspiring.” —Geoff Manaugh, New York Times–bestselling author of A Burglar’s Guide to the City
“A trip into the great indoors with Emily Anthes is a journey into fascination, dismay, and the occasional jolt of pure wonder.” —Deborah Blum, author of The Poison Squad: One Chemist’s Single-Minded Crusade for Food Safety at the Turn of the 20th Century
“What an eye-opening journey into a world we so often take for granted: our indoor spaces. From the tiniest indoor occupants (did you know just how many microscopic critters share your home?) to the largest (us), The Great Indoors is a study of how the elements of design can work to enhance our wellbeing and sense of self, from our homes, to our offices, to our schools, hospitals, and prisons. As we spend more and more of our lives inside, The Great Indoors is a perfect guide to this next frontier.” —Maria Konnikova, New York Times–bestselling author of The Confidence Game