Americans Crave the Familiar in Architecture and Design

Kaid Benfield argues that if people are going to embrace mixed-use, denser living styles, architects and designers need to "embrace the familiar."

"The path to a more environmentally benign future lies not in convincing consumers that they must change, but in giving them the things they seek in a more sustainable form," writes Benfield.

He quotes from a report in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that claims that Americans have sought familiar settings because they are more mobile than other cultures. With people moving more frequently for jobs and education, the ability to easily understand your new environment is useful:

"When individuals move to a strange place and are under the stress of starting a new life and have to repeat this again and again, they are likely to seek out familiar objects and avoid unfamiliar objects."

Full Story: Sustainable communities must embrace the familiar

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