At Access Architecture, we believe in outcome-based design. That is, before you put pen to paper, what is it that the architecture hopes to achieve? And what empirical evidence is there to support the methods by which to achieve it? In this sense, our design process involves reverse-engineering. Since our mission is focused on fostering meaningful connections, here is an example. We are working closely with Ecotone Environmental on The Elwood to craft a variety of outdoor spaces. Some more private and sheltered, others more expansive for larger activities. This approach is based in cognitive neuroscience:
"The greater a city dweller's access to greenery, light, and open spaces, the better she will solve problems and understand and take in new information... All this translates into improved psychological well-being and better interpersonal relations. And there's more. Residents lucky enough to live in a housing development surrounded by vegetation - trees, grass, flowers - enjoy and maintain stronger social ties with their neighbors; they enjoy a sense of community more robust than the residents in similar buildings lacking in these natural features." - Welcome to your World, by Sarah Williams Goldhagen.