Buildings are made for humans. So, the design of buildings requires architects to anticipate how humans will experience and behave in the planned environment. However, this is not an easy task, due to the vast amount of influencing factors coming from the physical environment (such as geometry, light, color) and from the users themselves (different social backgrounds, abilities, expectations, age, etc.). This challenges the design of buildings and results in the fact that even architecturally remarkable buildings, are sometimes hard to understand for building users. We might ask, can’t science support designers here?
The role of science in design can be seen in identifying regularities in natural phenomena that can be used in the definition of building parameters. Whereas physical sciences found their way into the design of buildings (such as structural and thermal behaviour), sciences dealing with human behaviour and emotions (e.g. environmental psychology) are widely lacking such an integration.
In this project we will try to bridge the gap between architectural design and environmental psychology. Therefore, we first will learn how to evaluate built environments in terms of human-centred aspects such as wayfinding, social interaction and spatial experience. Second we will develop a design strategy that anticipates the ‘human-perspective’ in the creation of spaces. As a case we will use the design of the new train station for the city of Neumünster.
After your building designs are created, we will test them in a Virtual Reality simulation using Oculus Rift. Following a ‘peer evaluation’ (everyone is evaluating the designs of the others), by taking eye-level perspective of a potential building user, the critics and comments are used to revise the design.