Watch: Dr Paul Hanna’s talk at Designing the Future 2023


Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable.

  What makes us feel uneasy is usually something that’s different to what we’re expecting or that breaks the social norms we’re used to.

Drawing on his expertise in mental health and wellbeing, community psychology and environmental psychology, psychologist Dr Paul Hanna helps us examine the human behaviour behind the avoidance of home truths.

Let’s get comfortable with the idea that some of the spaces built in the past might not necessarily have been good for every person… But what was good then? What is good now? It changes and shifts. We need to start accepting our feelings.

Looking at what it means to be uncomfortable – physiologically and psychologically – he discusses why ‘different’ matters, as well as avoidance, denial, and what any of it has got to do with the built environment.

We’re not going to have all the answers… but there’s different expertise we can draw upon. We can start working with the people we’re building for… They’re experts of their own experience and we’re experts of our professional disciplines…

Recorded at our 2023 national Designing the Future event at the Royal Institution, London.