This dissertation investigates the requirements and design of a Mind Development Centre in the Pretoria Central Business District. The investigation touches upon the research done into the human mind and brain and the ways in which it can be improved and supported. Environmental factors that influence thinking and meta-thinking is investigated and applied in the design of a centre where research of the mind can be conducted and where knowledge gained can be disseminated. Historical paradigms about thinking play an important part in understanding the way one thinks about thinking. These are briefly discussed and the examination arrives at a contemporary and more appropriate theory of thinking and mind. Fields touched upon in this investigation include popular psychology, environmental psychology, education, health and fitness, neurology, sustainability issues and social reconstruction. The history and context of the site is examined in order to design a building that not only responds to its environment, but serves to project the principles it embodies its direct surrounding area. The normative position throughout the investigation is that thinking is a skill that can be taught and developed. It is accessible to all, but, like physical prowess, some might display a greater proficiency or natural aptitude. It is considered to be in the best interest of individuals and society alike that thinking skills be raised among as broad a base as possible. Through its influence on thinking, the built environment and appropriate design can contribute to this task.
Dissertation (MArch (Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2006.