The Psychology of Architectural and Urban Design: Sensor-Based Field Methods Based on Guided Walks

Sep 18, 2014

New tools using smart phones and simple non-invasive sensors provide opportunities for the exploration of person-place interactions in field settings. In several experiments employing such tools, the researchers explored the physiological and emotional reactions of participants walking through the urban scale built environments in several different types of cityscapes. The main findings suggest that both collative variables such as complexity and more molar elements of urban design such as views of nature and façade permeability exert considerable influence on both state of arousal and affective reactions to place. The researchers conclude that field-based methods using such tools provide a powerful method by which built designs can be assessed for psychological impact.

Colin G. Ellard, Ph.D. (University of Waterloo)
Vedran Dzebic (University of Waterloo)
Presented at: 
2014 ANFA Conference (Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, CA)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture

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