Special Issue "Body Conscious Design"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Galen Cranz
Guest Editor
Architecture Department, College of Environmental Design, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Interests: body conscious design; chairs and furniture; ethnography as a research method; housing for the elderly; post-occupancy evaluation; social use of space; urban parks

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Industrial designs expect us to see ourselves as interchangeable parts and to fit into whatever is provided. Shoes and clothes are too tight; furniture creates back problems; our homes and our places of work, learning, entertainment, transportation, and public life limit our movements. Instead, Body Conscious Design (BCD) makes human bodies the starting point and acknowledges them as an important source of design inspiration. This design theory and method includes ergonomic, psychological, and cultural perspectives—together called somatics—to focus not only on the biomechanics of the body, but also on the psychological and cultural feelings and beliefs that a person brings to understanding the body in relationship to the environment.

Scott (1914) rooted architectural theory in proprioception—the body’s sense of mass, pressure, volume, and orientation in space. Kinesthetics shaped Olmsted’s approach toward landscape design. Institutional policy makers and reformers communicate their ideas through and into the bodily experiences of their users. New epidemiological research proves that sedentary behavior in home, work, and public spaces shortens our lives. Aspects of building science pertaining to perception of comfort ultimately rest on culturally modified ideas about the body. Scholars, architects, and designers can help redefine and legitimize new attitudes and trends that support comfort and health.

Galen Cranz, author of The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design, and Guest Editor of this Special Issue of Buildings, invites contributions that explore public and private built environments at all levels: near, semi-fixed, and fixed. How do contemporary built environments affect our bodies? What are the public and other health implications of existing and new attitudes toward posture and movement? What can be done to improve designed environments and users’ experiences of them? Historical, theoretical, empirical, and pedagogical perspectives, as well as design proposals, are all welcome.

Prof. Dr. Galen Cranz
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Alignment
  • Architecture
  • Built environment
  • Comfort
  • Consciousness
  • Cultural norms
  • Design
  • Ergonomics
  • Furniture
  • Health
  • Movement
  • Posture
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Somatics

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Back to TopTop