San Diego, California, U.S.A.

September 17th – 19th


Building on the tradition established at the ANFA 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018 Conferences, ANFA 2020 will again provide a forum for architects, designers, environmental psychologists, cognitive scientists, biophysicists, and neuroscientists to focus on empirical research that enhances our understanding of human responses to the built environment. The conference seeks submissions representing studies on educational, justice-correctional, workplace and healthcare facilities, and encourages examples of how behavioral outcomes in one building type may apply to another.  All presentations are to draw conclusions from their findings as to enable a translation from science to architectural design.

Conference Language: English

Abstracts will be accepted until February 28, 2020 Notification of Acceptance or Rejection: April 22, 2020


The ANFA Conference will explore, from a scientific basis, the range of human experiences that occur in context with elements of architecture, both exterior and interior.

Communication, knowledge sharing, collaboration, partnership, and integration will set the tone for the three day conference. The goal is to inspire ideas and new alliances that will ignite change and unlock the potential of ‘Neuroscience for Architecture.’


Possible themes for presentations include but are not limited to the following:

  • The impact of neural, physiological, psychological, and behavioral changes
  • The role of action and interaction in the user’s experience of buildings
  • The relationship between spaces and memory: wayfinding and exploration
  • The connection between neuroaesthetics and preferences for building composition
  • The neuroscientific connection to improving particular building types such as: Alzheimer’s facilities, correctional facilities, laboratories, hospitals, schools, residences and spiritual spaces
  • Neuromorphic architecture: the use of brain operating principles to quantify and enhance the intelligence of the built environment, adjust systems behavior and signal human intervention
  • The relationship between hippocampal neurogenesis and buildings that promote exercise


Presentations will be chosen on the basis of abstracts (instructions below). Accepted presentations may be presented orally or as posters. When preparing your abstract, look ahead to how you will present your work. If you are, for example, a neuroscientist or cognitive scientist, remember that you must make the neuroscience background clear and relevant to architects; and if you are an architect or within the building design field, make clear how your work in architecture invites the participation of scientists.

The Program Committee will be especially, but not exclusively, receptive to submissions that report on collaborations between an architect and a neuroscientist.


All submissions selected for either a plenary talk or poster presentation will be considered for future project funding based on a two-step process that includes qualifying for a shortlist and preparing a detailed written proposal for formal committee review.

Maximum grant award will be $40,000 U.S.


All posters selected for the conference will be judged for an award valued at $100 U.S.  Selection criteria will include the quality of the verbal presentation and the visual approach taken to convey project study methods, results and conclusions.


Submission Deadline February 28, 2020

Abstracts are to be posted to Details on the submission process will be posted December 16th. Meanwhile, preparation of abstracts can begin, following the guidelines below:

TITLE: Provide a clear, concise title that accurately reflects the presentation’s content. This will be the official title listed in the program guide. (Limit: 15 words.)

ABSTRACT: Abstracts are crucial to the review and selection process. They must be clear and understandable to the selected committee composed of architects and to neuroscientists. It should specify the contribution made by the paper and how the paper relates to the ANFA Conference Mission stated above. Inclusion of references to relevant publications in both the sciences and architecture is strongly encouraged – since this is the fifth biennial ANFA conference, we are keen to see to what extent insights into neuroscience for architecture have become cumulative. (Limit: 350 words + References + Figures.)

AUTHOR(S): Provide name, title, firm or organization, professional designations, full mailing address, telephone, e-mail address, and (where applicable) URL. Provide a brief biographical narrative for each speaker, spelling out the particular expertise on which the presentation is built. (Limit: 200 words per author.)

Committee Decisions will be Final

Notification of Acceptance or Rejection: April 22, 2020

The Program Committee will carefully evaluate all abstracts and on that basis make one of three decisions for each submission: Accept for oral presentation, accept for poster presentation, or reject. Since the decision may depend as much on the balance of the program as on the quality of the abstract, these decisions will not be open to review.