Where I Am

I am available for speaking engagements at university, public, and corporate events. I can provide a general overview of recent research in my lab or I can tailor a presentation to your group. In the past, I’ve spoken to a wide range of audiences including the general public, architecture and design groups, environmental graphic design meetings, and urban planners. Though much has changed with the pandemic and I’m not travelling at the moment, I’m still around and available for the occasional online talk or forum.

Get in touch to learn how I could contribute to your next event.

Round Table Image by Mathieu Rivard

“You know you are in the hands of a good teacher when you look up … and your own ideas spill out like winnings from a slot machine. It’s fun, pure fun.” – Los Angeles Times


BMW- Guggenheim Lab, Mumbai

BMW- Guggenheim Lab, Mumbai

What effect does the city have on your brain and physiology? Colin investigates in Mumbai.
BMW- Guggenheim Lab

BMW- Guggenheim Lab

In “Testing, Testing, Tested” Colin works with the Guggenheim to test the psychological effects of public spaces near the Lab.
BMW- Guggenheim Lab, Berlin

BMW- Guggenheim Lab, Berlin

What effect does the city have on your brain and physiology? Colin investigates in Berlin.
The Nature of Things

The Nature of Things

This episode, named after his 2009 book, features Colin’s research on wayfinding.


Colin does a TEDx talk on wayfinding.


Speaking in 2023

29 January 2023. Immensity, psychology and urban form. Università luav di Venezia, Venice, Italy

15 May 2023. Places for Inspiration, Novartis Campus, Basel, Switzerland

28 June 2023. Psychological perspectives on urban form from the ground up. Autodesk Research, Toronto, Canada.

21 October 2023. The future and promise of neuroarchitecture. NeuroArq Day, São Paulo, Brazil.

16 November 2023. The future and promise of neuroarchitecture, Iberoamerica University, Mexico City, Mexico.

9 November 2023. Place attachment and urban form. Intentional Spaces Summit, Washington DC, USA.

8 December 2023. Agency, psychology and urban form. Mindcore Seminar Series, Penn State University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Speaking in 2021

17 February 2021 – Colin Ellard – Our Universal Attraction to Vitality and Its Implications for the Built Environment. Martin Centre Lecture Series, University of Cambridge

10 March 2021 – Our universal attraction to vitality and its implications for the built environment. Centre for the Built Environment, UC Berkeley

Speaking in 2020

7 May 2020. The city we have in mind #1. A panel discussion. Centre for Conscious Design (https://theccd.org/event/the-city-we-have-in-mind/)

15 July 2020. The city we have in mind #2. A panel discussion. Centre for Conscious Design. (https://theccd.org/event/the-city-we-have-in-mind-2/)

19 October 2020. Our universal attraction to vitality: Implications for design. Universidad de Montemorelos, Mexico.

21 October 2020. Our Universal Attraction to Vitality: Some implications for COVID19 Queens University Belfast School of Planning, Belfast.

Speaking in 2019

Toronto, Canada (March 2, 2019). The universal human attraction to vitality. Living Architecture Systems Group Symposium, Ontario College of Art and Design.


Dallas, Texas (April 16, 2019). Neuroscience, psychology and architectural design. HKS Symposium on Architecture and Neuroscience (by invitation only). Dallas Center for Brain Health.


Montreal, PQ (April 29, 2019). Challenges to mental health in urban settings. IHSP Research to Policy Dragon’s Den: Cities and Mental Health.


Seattle, Washington (May 1, 2019). Body, mind and spirit: How architecture moves us. YMCA Facilities Summit. Edgewater Hotel, Seattle Wa.


Moscow, Russian Federation (July 4-7, 2019). The neuroscience of urban design.  Moscow Urban Forum. Zaryadye Park, Moscow, Russia Federation.


Jakarta, Indonesia (October 8-9, 2019). Challenges to mental health in urban environments. Wellbeing in Urban Living: Challenges and Opportunities, Universitas Indonesia.


Geneva, Switzerland (November 4, 2019). Places to love. How to Measure Baukultur. Pavillon Sicli, Geneva.

Speaking in 2018

Davos, Switzerland (January 21, 2018). Baukultur and urban form, Conference for European Ministers of Culture: World Economic Forum Satellite Conference.


Moscow, Russia (May 17, 2018). This is your brain on urban design. First International Forum on Sustainable Development and Cities of the Future.


Venice, Italy (May 30, 2018). Thinking on your street: Methods in urban psychogeography. Università luav di Venezia NAAD program in Neuroscience Applied to Architecture.


San Diego, CA (August 15, 2018). The neuroscience of urban design. Neuroscience for Architecture, Urbanism, and Design Intersession Program, NewSchool of Architecture and Design.


Salzburg, Austria (October 11, 2018). Global Seminar on Building Healthy, Equitable Communities.


London, England (October 23, 2018). Visual perception, emotion and streetscape design. Conscious Cities (via webinar).


Toronto, Canada (November 19, 2018).  Mental wellness and high density. Vertical Neighborhoods Summit, Canada Green Building Council, Sidewalk Toronto.


Yekaterinburg, Russia (December 7, 2018). The psychology of high-rise designs. 100+ Forum Russia 2018.


Ottawa, Canada (December 13, 2018). This is your brain on urban design. NCC Urbanism Lab.

Speaking in 2017

San Diego, California (January 25). This is your brain on urban design. NewSchool Lecture Series

London, UK (May 3). Becoming the city. Conscious Cities Conference (keynote)

Toronto, Ontario (September 7). Spirit, health and design.  YMCA Facilities Design Symposium (keynote).

Seattle, Washington (September 22).  A city for all.  City of Seattle Urban Hackathon (keynote)

Chicago, Illinois (September 30).  Central and peripheral visual processing and urban aesthetics.  Driehaus Symposium on Human Perception and the Built Environment

Speaking in 2016

Halifax Nova Scotia (May 19). This is your brain on urban design. Nova Scotia Planners’Conference (keynote)

Doors Open Toronto (May 28-29). Psychogeographic walking tours of the City of Toronto.

Ottawa Ontario (June 15). This is your brain on urban design. Ottawa Planning and Development Town Hall (keynote).

Stockholm, Sweden (August 31). The Psychology of Design: Understanding the Factors that Lead to a Sense of Home. Upplands Väsby Urban Planning Day.

St. Peter’s Church, Kitchener ON (September 17). Architecture and emotion: The psychological impact of built spaces. Doors Open Waterloo Region.

RIM Park, Waterloo, ON (October 13). This is your brain on urban design. Third Age Lecture Series (subscription only).

RIM Park, Waterloo, ON (October 20). All that glitters isn’t green. Third Age Lecture Series (subscription only).

Knox Centre, Waterloo (October 26). Amplify – The 2016 Culture Summit (keynote).

Iberoamericana University, Mexico City (November 11). Places of the Heart – Lecture and workshop.

Webinar (November 17). Urban design, psychology, and public health. Public Health Agency of Canada (webinar).

The University of Texas at Austin. (December 5). Psychology of Architecture

Speaking in 2015

July 6
Annual Institute on the Library as Place, Waterloo, ON (keynote)

September 19
Urbanspace Gallery, Toronto. Workshops and experiments hosted by the Urban Realities Lab to continue until November 13.

October 20
Different Drummer Book and Author Series, Burlington Golf and Country Club

October 22
Ryerson City Builder’s Book Club, Urbanspace Gallery, Toronto

October 25
Pioneer Works, Brooklyn NY. Workshop, experiments and discussion.

November 26
This is your brain on urban design (keynote). City of Guelph Celebration of World Town Planning Day, Guelph, ON.

November 30
In the mobile world, is there a sense of place? Panel Discussion for City as Classroom Monday Night Seminars. McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology, Toronto, ON.

Speaking in 2014

Friday, September 19
Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA.

Wednesday, October 8
Unsitely! Leveraging Design to Improve Urban Construction Sites
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, QC

Speaking in 2013

April 5th, “The psychology of post-oil”
Goethe Institute, Toronto

July 14th, “You Are Here”
Forge Media and Design, Toronto

November 2nd, “The subway squeeze”
Guggenheim Museum, NYC

November 21st, “Adventures at the intersection of neuroscience and architecture”
Museum of Vancouver, Vancouver

November 23rd, “Big brain waves”
Museum of Vancouver Vancouver

Speaking in 2012

March 3rd, BMW Guggenheim Lab

December 14th, “Psychology on the street”
BMW-Guggenheim Laboratory Mumbai

December 15, “Sensing Mumbai” – Panel discussion
BMW-Guggenheim Laboratory, Mumbai

Speaking in 2011

March 3rd, TEDxWaterloo Waterloo

April 12th, Ryerson University Toronto

April 20th, “Wayfinding, psychology and virtual environments”
Forrec Design, Toronto

October 1st, BMW-Guggenheim Lab
New York City

October 15th, BMW-Guggenheim Lab
New York City

November 2nd, 
University of Guelph

Speaking in 2010

March 26th, St. Mary’s Undergraduate Psychology Conference St. Mary’s University, Halifax

April 8th, University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies Markham Civic Centre, Markham

April 22nd, Bruce Trail Conservancy Toronto

May 6th, 
BeSpatial ’10 Paramount Conference Centre, Vaughan

June 3rd, 
BC Planning Association Sunpeaks Resort, Kamloops, BC

June 7th, 
Canadian Science Writer’s Association Ottawa

August 15th, You Are Here 2 Portland, Oregon

I can speak at your next event. Ask my assistant for details.