Listening to Design is focused on the inner world of the designer. The book is not concerned with a particular style, formal approach or choice of materials. Instead it is about the way designers can transform the doubts, desires and psychological trials of the creative process into authentic and meaningful design decisions. After many years teaching design to architecture students and also working as a psychotherapist I wanted to share my passion about the powerful way our inner world shapes the built world. The book signals a shift towards staying true to our creative instincts and learning to trust the power and resilience of the creative process.
Andrew Levitt teaches at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and is the author of the The Inner Studio: A Designer’s Guide to the Resources of the Psyche.
“Andrew Levitt’s unusual background as a teacher of architecture and a psychotherapist has inspired him to write a book describing many practices which I did not realize were part of my own creative process. The act of drawing as a way of communication, meditation as a way of opening oneself to a higher power, ‘listening to feedback from your head, heart and gut’, openness to collaboration and overcoming ego, as well as the demands of others in order to be true to yourself – these are all important lessons to learn. Not just for designers and architects, but for everyone in all walks of life.”
MIRA NAKASHIMA, creative director
George Nakashima Woodworkers, New Hope, PA
“Of all the subtle creative tools available to the architectural designer, listening may be the most difficult to portray. In this book, Andrew Levitt provides a unique window into this practice. Using autobiographical narrative, experiential examples, his integrated role as an architect and therapist, and his simple humanity, Levitt helps us understand the nature of listening in the creative design process. This he does with a magisterial progress through the body, mind, and hearts of his students.”
WILLIAM WOODWORTH, principal
William Woodworth Architectural Design, Toronto
“Levitt has a rare ability to integrate insights from the fields of architecture and psychology, revealing the internal processes that enable creative design. Using beautifully narrated vignettes drawn from his teaching and design practice, Listening to Design describes techniques for overcoming creative impasses and finding your own inner passion. It also provides valuable insights for art, design and architecture educators as well as therapists working with creative clients.”
Founder of Studio ST Architects, New York
“Listening to Design offers a rare insight into the psychology of the design process, particularly the special relationship that exists between tutor and student. Andrew Levitt is a wonderful storyteller whose tales will be relevant to those in all fields of design, as well as the general reader interested in creativity. Through his immersion in the way of design thinking, Levitt gives us an eloquent and sympathetic portrait of the design community– its poignancy, frustrations and pleasures.”
GREGORY VOTOLATO, Course Director and Lecturer, Victoria & Albert Museum; Tutor, Royal College of Art, London