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Evidence Based Design: A scientific review for architectural applications

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Title: Evidence Based Design: A scientific review for architectural applications
Authors: Munoz, Heather
Advisor: Noe, Joyce
Issue Date: May 2012
Abstract: For centuries architectural cues have been subjectively created and designed on intuition, some are well-done and others fail. Occupants interpret the space about them giving the context meaning and defining a program. While those interpretations will vary due to varying cultures, personalities, and experiences the common denominator for perception is the neuroscience behind the hundreds of stimuli receiving information from the confounding space. Designers should think out those stimuli and carefully design for the best impressionable impact. The proposal herein is to encourage designers to strive for the best sensory environment beyond subjective methodologies and into objective studies. A growing field that encourages architects to acquire data and test hypotheses is evidencebased design that seeks to enhance the possibilities of spatial impact on human perception and behavior. The purpose of this thesis is to explore the possibilities within science, particularly neuroscience, to discover how to create enhanced sensory impressions. The methodology undertaken follows the three research typologies typical of evidence-based development. The first is a literature review of the emergence of architectural design from an historical subjective application to an amalgamation with objective practice. An anatomy of the body, senses, and neurology is unveiled as a basis to understand the realm through which architectural stimuli must pass to elicit any type of response. To test the application of physiological evidence for design an experiment is conducted in which blood pressure, heart rate, and written survey measures are taken to discover impacts of color on a participants review of space. In response to both experimental data and research findings, the final step has been to create a prototypical design that applies evidence to architectural applications followed by analyses of participants’ interpretations. Throughout this dissertation research studies are intertwined to help bridge the connection between science and architecture to enlighten the reader of the possibilities instilled in this art for humanity.
Pages/Duration: 157 pages
Appears in Collections:2012

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