Some Place Like Home is … the bible of the field.”
-L.A. Times
“A unique and seminal architectural study . . . . ‘Designing-Women’s Lives’ must be considered as a core and invaluable addition to personal, professional, corporate, college, and university library Contemporary Architecture collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.”
-Midwest Book Review


Toby Israel, Ph.D.

Toby Israel

Toby Israel, Ph.D. is a visionary founder of the field of Design Psychology. Defined as “the practice of architecture, planning and interior design in which psychology is the principal design tool”, this discipline continues to gain international attention including in the L.A. Times, Oprah Home, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, IIDA and on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and Radio Times (radio interview with Marty Moss-Coane).

The Design Psychology visioning sessions and one-to-one interviews/exercises Dr. Israel conducts bring to the fore the vast personal store of experience and emotions that contribute to an individual's choice and design of home and place. Those she has led through her “toolbox” of exercises include Michael Graves, Denise Scott Brown, Andres Duany and Jane Pauley.

Trained as an Environmental Psychologist, Dr. Israel has over twenty-five years of experience in design, psychology, the arts and education. She has served as an environmental consultant in the USA and UK including as the project manager for the research division of LRK (Looney Ricks Kiss design firm), as the Visual Arts Coordinator for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and as a professor at the University of Lincoln School of Architecture (UK).

Through Oasis by Design LLC in Princeton, N.J. she works nationally and internationally with designers and clients and as a world-class speaker spreading the word about Design Psychology.


Designing–Women’s Lives: Transforming Place and Self

A foundational exploration of the psychological, lived experience of women and place, Designing–Women’s Lives (Oro Editions, 2023) demonstrates how women can break new ground by using Design Psychology as the touchstone for creating emotionally-satisfying environments.

Some Place Like Home: Using Design Psychology to Create Ideal Places

Dr. Israel's international experience and groundbreaking theories about people and place are summarized in her book, Some Place Like Home: Using Design Psychology to Create Ideal Places. (Wiley/Academy, 2003). This “extraordinary book … includes thought-provoking examples that incorporate the concept of design psychology for residential, institutional and corporate design.” (Design Management Review, 06/25/04)