Inquiry chaired by Alan Penn and Baroness Whitaker appeals for evidence

A parliamentary inquiry into the positive effect design can have on human behaviour is to be launched by Richard Rogers today.

The inquiry will be led by Bartlett dean Alan Penn and Janet Whitaker, vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group (APDIG).

They will be working with the Design Commission which has launched a call for evidence. The deadline for submission of insights and case studies is July 3.

The Design Commission, the research wing of the APDIG, is a cross-party group of parliamentarians and figures from architecture, industry and the public sector including Sarah Wigglesworth, Wayne Hemingway, Kieran Long and former Cabe chief Richard Simmons.

It will report back to Parliament at the end of this year with recommendations “designed to stimulate new thinking in planning policy across central and local government”.

In a statement issued ahead of today’s launch in Parliament by Richard Rogers, it said it hopes to discover examples of design prompting “good behaviours” and being used to create environments in which people thrive.

“The commission believes that in designing and constructing the environments in which people live and work, architects and planners are necessarily involved in influencing human behaviour,” it said.

“The commission argues there exists a long-standing thread of recognition that the way people live their lives is directly linked to the designed environments in which they live.

“While welcoming recent government use of nudge theory principles in policy-making decisions, the commission identifies a need to further develop and reinvigorate thinking in the field.”

Baroness Whitaker, who chaired the Design in Public Procurement Inquiry in 2009 and the Design Education Inquiry in 2011, was instrumental in the establishment of the new House of Lords select committee on the built environment which Terry Farrell predicted would be a “powerful new voice” for urbanism in the UK.