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Physical and affective correlates to perceived order in open-plan architectural space


Franz,  G
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Franz, G. (2005). Physical and affective correlates to perceived order in open-plan architectural space. Aesthetics and Architectural Composition - Proceedings of the Dresden International Symposium of Architecture 2004, 174-181.

Although experiential qualities of rectangular architectural spaces can be effectively predicted from their proportions and area (Franz, von der Heyde, Bülthoff, 2003), these factors obviously cannot be directly transferred on open-plan indoor spaces. An approach is presented that relates experiential qualities of arbitrarily shaped architectural spaces to their spatial form using isovists (Benedict, 1979) that allow to generically describe spatial properties. In an exploratory psychological experiment, 33 characteristic values derived from the isovists were tested on their predictive power on experiential qualities by correlating them with averaged affective appraisals. Thirty-four virtual reality simulated indoor scenes were rated by 2x8 participants using the semantic differential. Particularly measurands capturing the qualities spaciousness, openness, complexity, and order turned out to be effective predictor variables. For an empirical validation of the subjectively induced connection to visual order, eight participants sorted 16 isovist polygons by their regularity. Two factors almost perfectly (r=0.94**) described the averaged result by the formula polygon regularity= - n unique polygon sections / (n symmetry axes + 1). The findings show that perceived visual order can be related to measurable properties that are important factors for the experience of spaces.