How architecture regulates

Rajiv C. Shah, Jay P. Kesan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars are increasingly interested in understanding how architecture affects behavior and how it can be used proactively to influence particular behavior such as enhancing social interaction or reducing crime. The relevant research spans disparate fields including architecture, geography, urban planning, sociology, and law. The result is a diverse set of concepts, theories, and methods for understanding how architecture regulates. This paper attempts to synthesize the existing research into three meaningful categories. They revolve around communication, interaction, and biases. First, architecture can play a communicative role by expressing cultural or symbolic meanings. Second, architecture can affect how people interact. Third, architecture can be biased by favoring certain social groups or values. This typology provides scholars and professionals with a practical and clear perspective for how architecture affects us.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)350-359
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies


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