Hall of Fame

The IAPS Hall of Fame is an initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the great work that some of its members have been undertaking over the years. It highlights their achievements in theoretical development, ground work, practice, knowledge dissemination and application. Your suggestions count, so please send us nominations indicating: the person you wish to nominate (might even be yourself!); their short bibliography (150 words max); their main achievements in the field of environment-behaviour studies; 3 or 4 key publications and some anecdotes if you can.

Hall of Fame and IAPS Conferences

The admission to the Hall of Fame is a recognition that IAPS has started to award biannually at the IAPS conference to outstanding researchers in the environment behaviour field who have distinguished themselves in research, teaching, and practice.During the 20th. IAPS conference 2008 in Rome it was Serafin Mercado from Mexico who received the recognition. Serafin Mercado was already named father of environmental psychology by the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA).At the 21st. IAPS conference in Leipzig Rikard Küller, Emeritus Professor in environmental psychology at Lund University, Sweden, was added to the Hall of Fame for his long-standing contribution to IAPS and the environmental behaviour field more broadly. He was a leading figure in research and innovation, a charismatic mentor – overall one of those who have made a significant impact in the field and whose legacy will be carried through via many people he worked with and taught to.  Rikard Küller was one of the founders of the IAPS and the first elected president of the organisation. Rikard Küller died on 21 January 2009. Marianne Küller, his wife, attended the conference in Leipzig where Byron Mikellides, long term friend and colleague of Rikard, gave a Memorial Lecture in his honour. During IAPS 22, we recognised the life and contribution of Gabriel Moser, IAPS’ past President and one of the most significant figures in environmental psychology has ever had. David Uzzell celebrated his life and work in the Memorial Lecture on Tuesday 26th June 2012.

Carl Graumann

On August 8th, 2007, the great psychologist and former president of the German Psycho-logical Association (DGPs) Carl Friedrich Graumann died at the age of 84.He became interested in the field of language and social psychology very early in his career. The relation of language and thought, the role of language in psychology and the phenomenological tradition have been major themes throughout his highly productive professional life.In 1972 he published his influential handbook article “Interaction and Communication” and was later the chairman of the Special Research Group “Language and Situation” funded by the German National Science Foundation (DFG) at the University of Heidelberg. Carl Graumann was deeply committed to a humanistic approach in psychology which centred around the key topics of perspectivity in cognition and communication, “ecology” (context, situatedness) of human experience and behaviour, history of psychology (particularly in Germany), and the historicity of human experience. While many times he worked on top or ahead of developments, he never aimed to be “mainstream”. He followed his judgement and did everything with his own meticulous profoundness. His interest in psychology in parts originated from the experiences and opportunities he had had as a prisoner of war in a Camp in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan), Canada, in the winter of 1942/1943. There he had the opportunity to enrol in distance studies with the University of Saskatchewan. He chose psychology. Carl finished his psychology studies and his dissertation at the University of Cologne. In 1963, he became full professor at the University of Heidelberg where he developed and expanded the department of psychology. He established psychology at a high academic level with an excellent reputation at the University of Heidelberg.From 1962 to 1995, he was visiting professor at various US-American (Duquesne University, Pittsburg D.A.), French (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme), Swiss (University of Fribourg), and German universities (University of Greifswald). In 1973/74 he was Theodor Heuss Professor at the Graduate Faculty of the New School for Social Research in New York City. He was president of the German Psychological Society DGPs (1968-1970), and became an honorary member in 1992. In 2004, he received the life award for his scientific work, a testimony to the continued impact his work has had over the last 50 years. The source of this image and edited text is: http://www.psychologie.uni-heidelberg.de/ae/allg/mitarb/bms/InMemoriamCFG.pdf. Further information can be found in the IAPS bulletin 36.

Ken Craik

Ken Craik passed away on March 29, 2012 at his home in Berkeley, CA.Ken was a classic ecological psychologist in the sense that he emphasized the necessity of understanding persons by studying them within the ordinary contextual influences of their everyday lives. He brought this perspective to wide variety of substantive topics ranging from personality assessment, perception of time, and political psychology, to the psychology of humor and reputation. Starting from the position that “lives are lived day by day, one day at a time, from day to day, day after day, day in day out” his methodological interests focused on recording what people do in the daily lives; his influential “Lived Day” studies, in which he and his team followed participants around with video cameras for a full day, served as a forerunner to the recent wave of ambulatory methods developed to study people in situ. As a founder of the Journal of Environmental Psychology and of the Environmental Psychology Division of the International Association of Applied Psychology, Craik was instrumental in establishing the field of Environmental Psychology as we know it today.Over the course of his long career at UC Berkeley, the lives of many scholars were enriched by working with him, including David Buss, Brian Little, Bob Hogan, Avril Thorne, Sam Gosling, Rick Robins, Dan Ozer, Aaron Ware, Gail Agronick, Melissa Williams, Michael Shopshire, Robert Raskin, and Nick Feimer.He was a modest, cultured, kind, learned, and extraordinarily generative scholar. The source of this edited text is from an email forwarded by David Uzzell from;David Buss; Sam Gosling; Brian Little The source of the image is:http://psychology.berkeley.edu/faculty/profiles/kcraik.html

Serafin J. Mercado

Serafin J. Mercado obtained his BA in psychology at UNAM and his PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin where he got the highest rating up to date at the GRE (graduate record examination) in 1970. In 1973 he became implicated in environmental psychology and formed a group of professors and students involving them on readings and lectures about this topic which was carried out for five years. Out of this a task force for the development of a Master’s Degree curriculum in environmental psychology was formed, which produced the first environmental psychologists in Latin America; then, the MA curriculum in EP was later substituted by another with a more professionalizing stress.His main research line has been on residential environments, where he developed a model of housing habitability which has been shown to predict several family interaction variables (for example, family climate, quality of life, physical health) and to be affected by a set of architectural design variables, including in his latest project, the role of furniture on the functioning of residential behavioral settings in interaction with space. In 1991 he earned the title of “Father of Environmental Psychology in Mexico” for his pioneering efforts.Serafín Mercado has been an outstanding professor and academic leader in Mexican Psychology. He has been active in curriculum development in undergraduate and graduate programs in Psychology at UNAM, including MA and Ph. D. programs in environmental psychology. He was Pioneer of the scientific approach to psychology, of the cognitive psychology view and of environmental psychology in Mexico and Latin-America. He trained the first environmental psychologists in Mexico and formed research groups. He has published an important number of papers, book chapters and books, many in the environmental psychology area. He has taken part in many conferences around the world, many of them IAPS.Through an interdisciplinary approach, he created conceptual bridges and working groups between psychology and other disciplines such as architecture, planning, industrial design, public management, life sciences and health, and communication science. Many of the people for whom he was a mentor nowadays are independent professionals, teachers, and researchers. His work on residential environments has produced an empirically based model of evaluation related to architectural and environmental variables and with effects upon family´s welfare and health.

Gabriel Moser

Gabriel Moser: An Appreciation I apologise I do not speak French… or German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese or any of the other languages Gabriel spoke, so my brief words will be in English. He spoke English too so maybe that gives me permission. Words. When Dirce asked me to say a few words today, my first thought was, there are no words that can express my feelings of loss and sadness. I know it is like that for you too. Gabriel was really my best friend and when I heard that he had died a little part of me died as well.Words. Words are the currency of the academic world. Gabriel was the President of the International Association of People-Environment Studies, or IAPS as we call it.  IAPS is a world-wide organisation of researchers from across the design and social science disciplines who are concerned to make the places we live in better. It is not surprising that Gabriel was President of such an organisation. When I sent an email around to all the members of IAPS informing them of the sad news – and despite the fact that it was during a long public holiday – within in no time at all I had received over thirty messages of shock, of sadness and of love. It was believed in ancient Egypt that ‘whosoever´s name is uttered, then he lives’. It is without doubt that Gabriel will always be living amongst us, and I am happy about that. Source of this image and edited text is from an article in IAPS bulletin 37, by David Uzzell.

Anna Maria Nenci

Anna Maria Nenci, died suddenly on January 25th 2011, at her house in Rome.Anna Maria was a truly gifted environmental psychologist, a long term active member of IAPS, and contributed to the diffusion of people-environment studies in Italy through her research and teaching activity in many institutions, such as the Sapienza University of Rome, the University of Cagliari, and the LUMSA University in Rome.Anna Maria will be greatly missed by all her friends, colleagues and students, as well as by all those who had the pleasure of meeting her during various IAPS Conferences. Her last contribution to our association was the very successful organization of the 2008 Conference in Rome, and the editorial of the post-conference book.We all miss her gracious and humble presence, her generous hospitality, her incisive mind, her passionate love for life, people and environments. Source of this image and edited text is from an article in IAPS bulletin 37, by: Mirilia Bonnes, Marino Bonaiuto, Giuseppe Carrus, Ferdinando Fornara, Vittoria Giuliani and Massimiliano Scopelliti.

Martin Symes

Martin Symes died on 30 December 2010 after an illness of more than two years.Martin has been an active member, contributor and office holder in IAPS for well over 30 years. He was one of the early members of IAPS and the IAPS Board, valued for his support to the IAPS organisation, and for his vision as to how it could be developed. He was among that remarkable international community of scholars who have helped to shape IAPS into the diverse and robust organisation it is today. It is one of very few groups in the world which continues to successfully and effectively bring together a wide variety of design and social science interests and cultures. Martin was highly regarded as an architect, scholar, and good friend by the many people around the world he came to know through his association with IAPS.After working for a period in architectural design practice, Martin’s research, teaching and scholarship took him to distinguished appointments at The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, the Chair in Architecture at Manchester University, and most recently, a Chair in Architecture and Planning at the University of the West of England in Bristol.The focus of much of Martin’s work is a behaviour-based approach to the practices of architectural design. He developed an extensive body of academic research, consulting work and publications on getting knowledge into design activity, professionalism and the structure of the architectural profession. The case study method of enquiry, which he developed some 30 years ago continuesto provide architectural firms and government agencies with a valuable way of bringing knowledge into design, and a background for progressing decision-making for public works and policies.Martin’s work is also concerned with the large scale environmental decision-making processes of world urbanisation. He was responsible for organising the IAPS 13 conference at Manchester University in 1994 from which the proceedings were published in “The Urban Experience” the book which he co-authored with Susan Neary and Frank Brown. The implications of Martin’s work are highly relevant in the context of today’s global sustainability and population concerns. The paper he presented at the 2006 IAPS 19 conference in Alexandria “The Professionalisation of Expertise in Sustainable Development” demonstrates this, as does his most recent piece of work “Sustainability, Professionalism and Urban Design” which is to be published in a special issue of Open House International this year. Source of this image and edited text is from an article in IAPS bulletin 37, by: Duncan Joiner

Roderick John Lawrence

We honor Rod Lawrence for his intensive and comprehensive engagement in IAPS. Rod belongs to the founding generation of IAPS. During more than 16 years, he was engaged in the IAPS board and dedicated eight years to serve as treasurer. Beyond this beneficial commitment for IAPS, Rod Lawrence has been running a stunning academic and professional career. He holds a professorship in Human Ecology and environmental Sciences at the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Since 2000 he has been serving as director of the Global Environmental Policy Program at the University of Geneva in partnership with UNEP. What is more, he was recently nominated visiting Professor at the UN University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for two years. Rod has always used his expertise in many IAPS-related activities such as building and maintaining scientific networks, teaching young researchers, initializing research projects together with IAPS-members and publishing high ranked articles and special issues. In the frame of IAPS he founded the Housing Networkin 1986 togetherwith Rolf Johansson. This has developed to be a very vivid network. In 2007, for example, it organized the symposium “Housing and environmental conditions in post-communist countries” in Poland. Soon after, in 2009, a symposium with the title “Revitalizing built environments” took place in Istanbul in close collaboration with the Culture and Space Network. And again, in 2013 this network collaborated with the Sustainability as well as with the Culture and Space network to carry out the symposium titled “Sustainable environments in a changing global context”. In all of these symposia, Rod took a leading role in the respective boards guaranteeing a high-level scientific content. The next Housing network symposium is planned to take place in Dar es Salaam/Tansania in 2017, once more together with the Sustainability network and the Culture and Space network, being titled “Knowledge for climate-proof urban development in rapidly-changing environments”. For this symposium he has been taking over a supervising role for the African hosts at the Ardhi University in Dar es Salaam. In this position he supports the new head of the housing network being responsible for this symposium. Thus Rod takes care for keeping alive the Housing network for the next IAPS-generation. To show our deepest appreciation for these immense efforts and outstanding activities within IAPS, we admit Rod Lawrence to the Hall of Fame of IAPS during the 24th IAPS conference in Lund/Sweden 2016.

David Stea

Texas State University, San Marcos, USA

David Stea received a B.S. in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology in 1957 and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Stanford University in1964. As Carnegie Interdisciplinary Fellow at Brown University, he developed the new field of Environmental Psychology and the related study of spatial and geographic cognition. He was Associate Professor of Psychology and Geography at Clark University, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at UCLA through 1988, and then Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Stea has held four distinguished professorships in the U.S.A., Indonesia, and Mexico.


Professor García Mira, on behalf of IAPS board, delivers the Diploma of Hall of Fame to Professor David Stea during the Opening Ceremony of the EDRA conference in Veracruz in 2008. Professor Patricia Ortega attended this session too.

He is a member of the editorial boards of a number of journals, the co-author or co-editor of several books, including Image and Environment, Landscape in Language, and Maps in Minds, and some 150 articles. Dr. Stea has given some 200 lectures and presentations in a dozen countries around the globe and has been visiting professor and planning consultant on all inhabited continents. In the mid-1980s, Dr. David Canter and Dr. Stea began editing the “Ethnoscapes” book series in the U.K. In 1987 he was nominated for the Right Livelihood Prize (also known as the “alternative Nobel”). Later with a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Stea established and directed the International Center for Culture and Environment in Santa Fe, New Mexico, training environmental specialists in for international practice, and continued its work in Mexico. In 2008 he was named Distinguished Visitor by the City of Veracruz and also received citations from Mexico and France for his pioneering work in relating environmental psychology to environmental design.
Dr. Stea is now Professor Emeritus of Geography and International Studies at Texas State University and Research Associate with the Center for Global Justice in Mexico. Since becoming Professor Emeritus in 2006, he has continued research in central Mexico and in the Navajo Nation in the USA.


David Uzell

Proposal for the IAPS Hall of Fame
By Maria Nordstrom and Ricardo García Mira

David Uzzell is Professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Surrey where he leads the Environmental Psychology Research Group. He is Past President of the International Association of People-Environment Studies (IAPS), the British Psychological Society’s representative on the European Federation of Psychologists’ Association Task Force on Environmental Psychology, and Visiting Professor at the University of Umeå.
His main contributions to environmental psychology research have been centred on:

1) Climate change and sustainable development with a particular interest in

  1. a) social approaches to changes in attitudes, behaviours and practices,
  2. b) the impact of the demands of changing sustainable consumption and production practices on identity, and c) the international labour movement working across the North-South divide;

2) Cultural heritage and the re-construction of identities after war and conflict;

3) History of environmental psychology ;

4) Risk and the environment ; and

5) The use of ‘life histories’ as a methodology to explore changing social and envornmental practices over time.

In sum, David’s research, typical of an IAPS researcher, has been interdisciplinary, international, policy-oriented and applied and within the following areas: climate change and sustainable consumption and production; participation; environmental risk and heritage. David’s paper with Clare Twigger-Ross in Journal of Environmental Psychology in 1996 on ”Place Identity and place attachment” is one of the most highly cited papers on place identity, a key concept in research in environmental psychology.


Accomplishments of the IAPS Board during David’s presidency from 1998 to 2002:

We got a new and improved accounts system by which the IAPS membership could be monitored more accurately.

The IAPS Bulletin was improved and started to come out regularly and with an improved quality, making the content livelier, more attractive and covered a wide range of topics; the design was improved significantly.

The Young Researchers’ Workshop before the conferences was another successful, lasting and important innovation.

The IAPS membership increased significantly over those years such that it became the pre-eminent people-environment relations/studies organisation in the world, attracting more members, from more countries and more disciplines.

The IAPS Conferences in Paris in 2000 and in A Coruna were outstanding successes and set a new standard for the organisation of IAPS conferences.

A new book series – Advances in People-Environment Studies – gave a greater international recognition to the quality of papers at IAPS conferences.

Some selected references:

Uzzell, D. and Räthzel, N. (2012) ‘Local Place and Global Space: Solidarity Across Borders and the Question of the Environment’, in N. Räthzel and D. Uzzell (eds) Trade Unions in the Green Economy: Working for the Environment, London: Earthscan/Routledge.

Uzzell, D. and Räthzel, N. (2012) ‘Mending the breach between labour and nature: A new research field’ Environmental Labour Studies’, in N. Räthzel and D. Uzzell (eds) Trade Unions in the Green Economy: Working for the Environment, London: Earthscan/Routledge

Räthzel, N. and Uzzell, D. (2012) Mending the breach between labour and nature: Environmental engagements of trade unions and the North-South divide, Interface: a Journal for and about Social Movements, 4, 2, 81-100.

Räthzel N, Uzzell D. (2011) ‘Trade Unions and Climate Change: The Jobs versus Environment Dilemma’. Elsevier Global Environmental Change Part A, 21 (4), pp. 1215-1223.

Uzzell D, Rathzel N. (2009) ‘Transforming environmental psychology’. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29 (3), pp. 340-350.

Uzzell D, Moser G. (2009) ‘Introduction: Environmental psychology on the move’. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 29 (3), pp. 307-308.

Uzzell D. (2008) ‘People-environment relationships in a digital world’. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 25 (2), pp. 94-105.

Uzzell D. (2008) ‘Challenging Assumptions in the Psychology of Climate Change’. InPsych, Bulletin of the Australian Psychological Society, 30 (4), pp. 10-13.

Uzzell D, Brown J. (2007) ‘Conceptual progress in understanding fear of crime in railway stations’. Psicologia, 21 (2), pp. 119-137.

Uzzell D, Horne N. (2006) ‘The influence of biological sex, sexuality and gender role on interpersonal distance.’. Br J Soc Psychol, England: 45 (Pt 3), pp. 579-597.

Uzzell D, Pol E, Badenas D. (2002) ‘Place identification, social cohesion, and environmental sustainability’. Environment and Behavior, 34 (1), pp. 26-53.

Uzzell D, Jones E. (2000) ‘The development of a process-based methodology for assessing the visual impact of buildings’. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 17 (4), pp. 330-343.

Uzzell DL. (2000) ‘The psycho-spatial dimension of global environmental problems’. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20 (4), pp. 307-318.


Maria Vittoria Giuliani

Short vita profile for Iaps hall of fame 2014 (Timisoara conference)

Maria Vittoria was born on August 9, 1942, in Padoua. After receiving hes degree in Philosophy, with minor in sociology, from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in 1966, she started her research career as psycholinguist at the Center of Cybernetics and Linguistcs Activivities in Milan. In 1972 she joined the Institute of Psychology of the National Research Council  (later Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technology) where she went on with her linguistic researches till 1982, when she was introduced to environmental psychology studies by Mirilia Bonnes. While her main research line was on residential environment, and in particular on attachment to home, she was also interest in a wide variety of topics in the field of people-environment studies, ranging from the aesthetic perception of the environment (from 1985 to 1990 she also served as Vice Presidents of the International Association of Empirical Aesthetic), to children’s experience of the urban environment,  to restorative environments, and lastly to domestic assistive technology for the elderly.

Maria Vittoria Giuliani has been member of IAPS since 1986 to her retirement in 2006, serving on the IAPS Board from 1990 to 1998, and from 1992 to 1996 on the Executive Board.

The theoretical and empirical works developed by Maria Vittoria in the last three decades had a great impact in the field of people-environment studies, and inspired many colleagues and young researchers not only from Italy, and

Some of the main relevant publication by Maria Vittoria are listed below.

Giuliani, M. V. (1986). Home interior decoration: Psychosocial models and aesthetic teories. In M. Krampen (Ed.), Environment and Human Action (Proceedings of the 8th International Conference of the IAPS, pp. 334-338). West Berlin: Hochschule der Künste.

Giuliani, M. V. (1987). Naming the Rooms Implications of a Change in the Home Model. Environment and behavior, 19(2), 180-203.

Giuliani, M. V.(1989). “Attachment to place: Some reflections on residential environment”, International Symposium on “The meaning and use of home and neighbourhood”, Gävle (Svezia), 21-23/8/1989.

Giuliani, M. V. (1991). Towards an analysis of mental representations of attachment to the home. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 8(2), 133-146.

Giuliani, M. V., & Feldman, R. (1993). Place attachment in a developmental and cultural context. Journal of environmental psychology, 13(3), 267-274.

Prezza, M., Pilloni, S., Morabito, C., Sersante, C., Alparone, F. R., & Giuliani, M. V. (2001). The influence of psychosocial and environmental factors on children’s independent mobility and relationship to peer frequentation. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 11(6), 435-450.

Giuliani, M. V. (2003). Theory of attachment and place attachment. In M. Bonnes, T. Lee, and M. Bonaiuto (eds.), Psychological theories for environmental issues (pp. 137-170). Aldershot: Ashgate.

Scopelliti, M., Giuliani, M. V., & Fornara, F. (2004). Robots in a domestic setting: a psychological approach. Universal Access in the Information Society, 4(2), 146-155.

Scopelliti, M., Giuliani, M. V. (2005). Choosing restorative environments across the lifespan: A matter of place experience. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 24(4), 423-437.


Mirilia Bonnes

Proposal for the Hall of Fame, in favour of Professor MIRILIA BONNES (Universitá Sapienza di Roma, Italy)

Mirilia Bonnes can be considered one of the pioneers of People-environment Studies in Europe. She has been the first in Italy to hold a chair on the subject Environmental Psychology within the academic system and to receive both public and private important funds on this subject. She was also one of the first in the European Union to be at the forefront for international projects, conferences, and educational networks. Moreover, she was one of the f irst persons in the world being systematically active across several decades in terms of scientific association memberships and leadership, as well as for renowned scientifc papers and books, but also for her commitment in the interdisciplinary efforts to boost Environmental Psychology’s impact over other sciences and the society in general, thanks also to her engagement within the UNESCO Man & Biosphere Project across severa decades.

Last bue not least, her human and scientific mission in showing the relevance of Psychology for the environment (especially in terms of topics such as its disciplinary theoretical roots, its role in understanding urban issues as well as natural and green areas ones, and many other ones) represented a pioneering example which helped more than a generation of environmental psychologial students to understand the importance of a range of concepts and processes, well in avance their contemporary taken for granted nature and almost common-sense status.


Perla Serfaty-Garzon

Admission to the IAPS Hall of Fame, 25th IAPS Conference, Rome, July 13, 2018

Perla Serfaty-Garzon – a.k.a. Perla Korosec-Serfaty – as a young academic, was part of the early formation of Environmental Psychology. She studied Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology at the University of Strasbourg, France, where she became a full-time faculty member in 1969. After obtaining her PhD, she earned her State Doctorate (Doctorat d’État) under Paul-Henry Chombart de Lauwe’s mentorship at the Paris V Sorbonne.
It was an exciting time for Environmental Psychology in Europe and in the world. A number of academic individuals and groups, often independently, developed the field in France. The multifaceted and productive Strasbourg group, which included Perla Serfaty-Garzon, saw the first French text, Moles and Rohmer’s Psychologie de l’espace published in 1972. Denise Jodelet and Stanley Milgram offered psychological maps of Paris as early as 1976 in H. M. Proshanky, W. H. Ittelson and L. Rivlin’s 1976 Environmental Psychology: People and their Physical Settings. During that same period, Robert Pagès was developing his thought-provoking theory of “emprise”, i.e. hold and social control (1967, 1986) at the Sorbonne Laboratory of Experimental Social Psychology; Stanley Milgram’s Soumission à l’autorité was published in 1974 in French to great attention; Serge Moscovici was developing, at the Paris Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, his ground-breaking studies of social representations and introducing the use of cognitive maps in the field; while Claude Levy-Leboyer, who was then active in work and organizational psychology, was publishing, in 1980, her book Psychology de l’environnement, which, although mainly focused on American researchers, was the first review in French of the  field. This period in France has been described by Jodelet (1987) in D. Stokols and I. Altman’s Handbook on Environmental Psychology and by E. Pol in his Environmental Psychology in Europe: From Architectural Psychology to Green Psychology (1993)
In this context, the key actor is clearly Perla Serfaty-Garzon. First for the pivotal 3rd IAPC event she organized in Strasbourg in 1976, and, second, for her steadfast commitment to Environmental Psychology research through the years. This translated into original empirical work and a compelling theoretical contribution to the field.
In the early 1970’s, Perla Serfaty-Garzon introduced the teaching of Environmental Psychology in France. The organization of the 3rd IAPC, the predecessor of the current IAPS, in Strasbourg, in 1976, on the topic of The Appropriation of Space, is a direct influence of one of her teachers, Henry Lefebvre. The awareness of the significance of this event increased over time as several keynote speakers rose to the challenge of the theme of this conference. This contributed to the rich heritage that followed as Environmental Psychology developed and grew. Among those speakers was Harold Proshansky who would later develop the concepts of Place Identity and Place Attachment.

Perla spent her Fullbright scholarship at the University of California Irvine, then a new Program of Social Ecology directed by Dan Stokols, and taught as a visiting professor in Sweden, the United States, and Canada. A dedicated teacher and inspiring research mentor, she has built scientific networks, e.g. currently with the University of Barcelona Environmental Psychology Master program and research group and with Sebastien Lord’s research team at the University of Montreal Faculty of Environmental Design. She is committed to practicing as an Environmental Psychologist in the non-academic world and to disseminating knowledge and its applications. This led her to head, at the City of Montreal, an urban planning team responsible for the enhancement and development of public open urban spaces, and for outlining municipal policies for the preservation of Montreal’s architectural and urban heritage as well as for its cultural heritage.

Perla Serfaty-Garzon has been an IAPS board member several times. She has been and currently is a key actor in the thematic evolution of Environmental Psychology as well as of its conceptual and theoretical development. She dedicated her first works to the concept of the appropriation of space, in particular in the context of urban public spaces, their daily uses, identity, and sociability.

Besides her seminal book-proceedings from IAPC 1976 The Appropriation of Space, her innovative books and other publications focus, on dwelling, home and on the differences and intricate links between these two notions that are rendered by the French concept of “Chez soi”, i.e. the intimate sense and self-awareness of being at home in a given place.  Her research ranges from the meanings and appropriation of home territories, loss of home, existential and survival migration, exile and the restoration of the sense of being at home in the host country, to the feminine connection to home and one’s relationship to home in childhood and late life, thus making a significant impact and underlining Perla Serfaty-Garzon’s theoretical and empirical very powerful contribution to Environmental Psychology.


Some selected references

2018 Habiter sa vieillesse, habiter sa maison : de la transformation du sens aux stratégies. In Lord, S. et Piché, D. (direction) Vieillesse et aménagement. Perspectives plurielles. Montréal, Les Presses de l’Université de Montréal, p. 39-54.

2016 Les territoires de l’enfance dans l’espace familial. De l’enfant récepteur à l’enfant prescripteur. Enfance et Psy, n° 72, Dossier «Maison d’enfance : habitants et invités », p. 29-42, 2016.

2016 Quand votre maison vous est contée. Montréal, Bayard Canada.

2006 Enfin chez soi ? Récits féminins de vie et de migration. Paris, Les Éditons Bayard et Montréal, Bayard Canada.

2003 Chez soi. Les territoires de l’intimité. Paris, Armand Colin, 2003

1976 The Appropriation of Space (direction) Proceedings of the 3rd IAPS in Strasbourg – Louvain-la-Neuve, CIACO, 1978, https://iaps.architexturez.net/documents/series/AP6

1994 Dwelling, Place making and the Experience of Transition and Relocation. In Kleinenfen, A. (direction), Festschrift Zum 60 Geburtstag Von Peter Jockush, Presses Universitaires de Kassel, p. 117-134. http://www.perlaserfaty.net/texte14.htm

1990 Öffentliche Plätze: Definition und Anwendungen. In in Kruse, L., Graumann, C. F., Lantermann, E-D., Ökologische Psychologie. Ein Handbuch in Schlüsselbegriffen, Munich, Psychologie Verlag Union, 1990, p. 530-540

1987 Urban Open Spaces. In Canter, D., Stea D., Krampen M., (direction) Environmental Perspectives. Ethnoscapes Vol. 1, Current Challenges in the Environmental Social Sciences, Londres et New York, Gower Press, p. 123-150.

1984 The Home, from Attic to Cellar. Journal of Environmental Psychology, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 303-321

1976 The Appropriation of Space (direction) Proceedings of the 3rd IAPC in Strasbourg – Louvain-la-Neuve, CIACO, 1978, https://iaps.architexturez.net/documents/series/AP6

1984 The Home, from Attic to Cellar. Journal of Environmental Psychology, Vol. 4, no 4, p. 303-321, 1984



IAPS Hall of Fame, Rome, July 13, 2018.

Source of this image: https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perla_Serfaty

Text by Enric Pol