Book Review What Americans Build and Why: Psychological Perspectives Ann Sloan Devlin Cambridge University Press, 2010 California State University, Northridge Ron Davidson Reviewed by One of the joys of being a geographer is discovering how far and wide the discipline's impact is felt outside its nidus in the musty Atlas rooms (or sparkling GIS labs, take your pick) of university geography departments. Most gratifyingly, for example, we may discover it in former students who leave academia but maintain a quiet passion for the subject their entire lives. Occasionally, too, however, comes something of a rebuttal--a reminder that not all of geography's contributions to knowledge and worldview are ones its practitioners may respond to with a swelling of vicarious parental pride. One such rebuttal was contained for me in Ann Sloan Devlin's What Americans Build and Why, an informative and genuinely interesting examination of the built environment from a psychological perspective. The rebuttal occurred in a chapter on workplaces, wherein Devlin describes the impressive amount of psychological research conducted by the Herman Miller Company, an office furniture manufacturer. According to Devlin, the company Web site cites the work of geographer Jay Appleton (well known for his "prospect and refuge"
Yearbook of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Jul 13, 2011