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Personal profile

Research profile

Andrea Jelić is an architect and researcher dedicated to understanding how the built environment affects people’s bodily and emotional experiences through the lenses of enactive-embodied cognitive science and phenomenology. This research is situated in the context of social sustainability and human-centered design as geared towards developing life-enhancing built environments, encompassing the physical, mental, and social dimensions of people’s health and well-being. Dr Jelić is an Assistant Professor in Social Sustainability within Architecture and a member of BBAR—Brain, Body, Architecture Research Lab and CREATE Integrated Architecture research group at Aalborg University. Dr Jelić is an Advisory Council member of ANFA—Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (based in San Diego, CA) and faculty member in the Master program “Neuroscience applied to architectural design” at IUAV University of Venice. She holds a PhD in Architecture from Sapienza University of Rome.

Her research interests and projects have the notions of embodiment and experience at their core and include, among others: (1) investigating the relationship between body, stress, language, and spatial experience (supported by post-doc fellowship from Aalborg University); (2) exploring how the built environment can provide opportunities for children’s play and playful learning through co-creation and research-based design for child-friendly environments (project funded by Capital of Children Playful Minds, Billund, Denmark); (3) examining the links between affordances, affective atmospheres, and meaning-making in architecture, which inspired the international colloquium “Architectural heritage: Affordances, affect, politics” at TU Delft (October 2019), supported with a grant from International Ambiances Network; (4) exploring the pedagogical tools for introducing social sustainability into architecture education through the focus on user perspectives and empathy thinking in design. Dr Jelić has published articles in this emerging interdisciplinary field in both architectural and scientific journals, and guest lectured at international conferences and workshops in USA and Europe. Recently, she has co-edited a special issue of Ambiances Journal titled “Phenomenographies. Describing urban and architectural atmospheres” (2019) and is co-editing a forthcoming special issue “Embodiment and meaning-making: Interdisciplinary perspectives on architectural heritage” in The Journal of Architecture (2021).

Teaching profile

Dr Jelić’s teaching is closely aligned with her research through the combination of human-centered design, interdisciplinary research on the effects of built environment on health and well-being, and the sense of social and political agency of design. Andrea’s goal as an educator is to show that sustainable and healthy architecture and urban spaces is a basic human right due to the fundamental link between our minds, bodies, and environments in which we live, work, and play. Such view of architecture education informs her teaching and pedagogical strategies in a twofold manner: (1) through the focus on cross-disciplinary health-related research and development of students’ skills in research-informed design and (2) through attention to ethics of design and development of students’ competences in user-oriented research and design methods. In her role at Aalborg University, Dr Jelić is involved in teaching, supervision, and course coordination in bachelor and master studies, for example in a course “Social Sustainability, Health, and Well-being” (previously, “Architecture, Health, and Well-being”) and coordinating a bachelor semester focusing on the integrated design of an office building in urban context. To support her pedagogical agenda, Andrea publishes explorative analyses and reflections on teaching methods, including co-authored articles in Persona Studies, 2018 and HERD Journal, 2020.


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