In many modern building complexes the problem of disorientation is acute. People have no idea where they are, and they experience considerable mental stress as a result. This is because many modern buildings do not have features that are readily recognized and remembered by people trying to find their way about. Nor are they grouped in such a way that a person sees a recognisable entrance, or central part of the building, to which he can relate the other parts. Psychological theory suggests that the effect of a badly laid out building is almost as bad on a person who knows it as on one who does not, since he spends a good deal of time looking out for landmarks and wondering where to go next, and his minds is generally distracted by the excessive attention he has to pay to the building. It is also important that names be used to distinguish parts of buildings, and also colours, and that the sizes of different parts of the building indicate the relative importance of each part. A good environment is one which is easy to understand, without conscious attention: for example, an Oxford or Cambridge college has a system of groupings that are easily recognized and remembered, being made up of 'courts', 'staircases', 'rooms', etc, which are easily identifiable.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.