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Reduction of Physiological Stress Using Fractal Art and Architecture

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Abstract

The author reviews visual perception studies showing that fractal patterns possess an aesthetic quality based on their visual complexity. Specifically, people display an aesthetic preference for patterns with mid-range fractal dimensions, irrespective of the method used to generate them. The author builds upon these studies by presenting preliminary research indicating that mid-range fractals also affect the observer's physiological condition. The potential for incorporating these fractals into art and architecture as a novel approach to reducing stress is also discussed.

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... A última característica, a dimensão fractal, ou dimensão D, é um dos aspectos que impulsionaram o uso da geometria fractal na composição dos elementos de fachada, visto que a utilização das características dos fractais pode trazer respostas psicológicas positivas dos lugares que nos cercam. Com base em estudos científicos como os de Wise e Rosenberg (1986) e Hargerhall, Purcell e Taylor (2004), autores como Taylor (2006) e Joye (2007) comentam as razões que relacionam os fractais com as interpretações humanas positivas. Essas razões compreendem processos biológicos como: ordenação cerebral, pulso cardíaco, orientação espacial da visão e também padrões evolutivos, sendo eles: interpretação dos lugares, instintos e manifestações artísticas. ...
... À vista disso, busca-se alcançar resultados satisfatórios referentes à luz do dia enquanto a composição apresenta uma dimensão D próxima de valores entre 1,3 e 1,7. Tal intervalo foi escolhido pois alguns estudos o descrevem como passível de proporcionar respostas positivas para a percepção humana, segundo Spehar et al. (2003), Taylor (2006) e Joye (2007) Para isso, inicialmente um entorno genérico de baixa altura é ajustado e, em seguida, é simulada a radiação incidente sob a construção modelo. Na sequência é escolhido um dos quatro painéis fractais desenvolvidos para compor a fachada a partir da radiação incidente. ...
... Com relação à organização dos elementos, o objetivo era alcançar uma dimensão fractal próxima ao intervalo de 1,3D e 1,7D. Tal intervalo é descrito por Spehar et al. (2003), Abboushi et al (2019), Taylor (2006) ...
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RESUMO: Esta pesquisa trata do desenvolvimento de um processo paramétrico para a aplicação de padrões geométricos fractais em elementos arquitetônicos de fachada. Tendo como objetivo desenvolver e avaliar um processo de projeto que possibilite gerar componentes de fachada com características da geometria fractal linear, organizá-los conforme a radiação incidente e verificar a complexidade de sua composição por meio da dimensão fractal. Para isso um processo paramétrico e generativo foi construído em uma ferramenta de programação visual e plug-ins, seguindo um modelo de performance adaptado. Como resultado é possível identificar e verificar o comportamento da luz do dia nos ambientes internos, consequente da escolha do padrão fractal linear da composição organizada a partir da radiação e do entorno urbano utilizado. Na sequência, com base nos resultados, foi desenvolvida uma correlação entre as composições e o entorno urbano, demonstrando que a utilização dos controladores possibilita que a luz do dia no interior seja controlada pelo projetista, distribuindo a luz independente da verticalização do entorno urbano. ABSTRACT: This research deals with the development of a parametric process for the application of fractal geometric patterns in architectural façade elements. Aiming to develop and evaluate a design process that makes it possible to generate facade components with characteristics of linear fractal geometry, organize them according to the incident radiation and verify the complexity of their composition through the fractal dimension. For this, a parametric and generative process was built in a visual programming tool and plug-ins, following an adapted performance model. As a result, it is possible to identify and verify the behavior of daylight in indoor environments, resulting from the choice of the linear fractal pattern of the composition organized from the radiation and the urban environment used. Subsequently, based on the results, a correlation was developed between the compositions and the urban environment, demonstrating that the use of controllers allows the interior daylight to be controlled by the designer, distributing light regardless of the verticalization of the urban environment.
... Around this time, pioneering experiments demonstrated that exposure to natural scenery had striking, positive consequences for the observer, even causing patients to recover more rapidly from major surgery when exposed to the visual qualities of nature (Ulrich, 1981;Ulrich, 1993;Ulrich & Simons, 1986). Over the past two decades, interdisciplinary teams have sought to confirm a specific hypothesis -that the aesthetic qualities of fractals are inducing these striking effects (Abboushi, Elzeyadi, Taylor, & Sereno, 2018;Aks & Sprott, 1996;Bies, Blanc-Golhammer, Boydston, Taylor, & Sereno, 2016;Cutting & Garvin, 1987;Field & Brady, 1997;Hagerhall, Purcell, & Taylor, 2004;Hagerhall et al., 2008;Hagerhall et al., 2015;Geake & Landini, 1997;Juliani, Bies, Boydston, Taylor, & Sereno, 2016;Knill, Field & Kersten, 1990;Marlow et al., 2015;Spehar, Clifford, Newell, & Taylor, 2003;Spehar & Taylor, 2013;Spehar et al., 2015;Spehar, Walker, & Taylor, 2016;Street et al., 2016;Taylor, 1998Taylor, , 2002Taylor, , 2006Taylor & Sprott, 2008;Taylor, Spehar, von Donkelaar & Hagerhall, 2011;Taylor et al., 2017;Taylor, Juliani, Bies, Spehar, & Sereno. 2018). ...
... Based on the fractal projection results, our target D values for inducing the fractal aesthetic effect using floor designs lie in the range 1.5-1.7. Previous qEEG (Hagerhall et al., 2008;Hagerhall et al., 2015) and skin conductance measurements (Taylor, 2006) indicate that the resulting 'aesthetic resonance' will induce a state of relaxation. To generate this effect, our designs must be restricted to statistical fractals rather than their exact counterparts. ...
... The original research on stress-reducing fractals (Taylor, 2006) was funded by NASA with the aim of maintaining the health of astronauts during long missions away from Earth's scenery. The project described in this article aims to broaden the original scope to include Earth-bound, everyday stressful activities ranging from catching a plane to students taking their exams. ...
This year's cover artists are members of a newly formed team of designers and scientists known as the Science and Design Laboratory, along with flooring manufacturing experts from the Mohawk Group. This unique collab-oration creates patterns for installation on the floors of versatile commercial, public and private spaces including airports, hospitals, offices and homes. Their goal is to create human-centered designs based on psychology experiments that investigate the positive impacts of viewing fractal patterns. These include reduced physiological stress levels, enhanced cognitive skills, and heightened concentration. Here, the fractal construction process and the resulting fractal characteristics of these designs are explained.
... Given that many natural objects feature the repeating patterns of fractals [19], a 'fractal fluency' model proposed that the visual system has adapted to these fractals through exposure, allowing us to efficiently process the visual complexity generated by their pattern repetition [20][21][22]. Studies have quantified a range of positive responses to viewing both natural fractals and their computer-generated imitations, including aesthetic experiences [23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35] and physiological stress reduction [36]. The World Health Organization suggests stress is becoming a major health epidemic, with stress-related illnesses costing countries billions of dollars annually [37]. ...
... Conventional solar panels featuring Euclidean electrode designs elicit negative aesthetic responses [43]. We therefore took inspiration from nature's fractal geometry to develop a new electrode pattern, given an extensive literature supporting fractal patterns' efficacy in engineering applications [47], health benefits [36], and aesthetic appeal [23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35]. Previous aesthetics studies have investigated a variety of 'exact' fractals which repeat patterns exactly at different scales [23]. ...
... Although a significant body of psychology research highlights the positive visual qualities of fractals [23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36], only two studies have considered 'exact' fractals similar to those employed here [23,25]. The remaining studies considered 'statistical' fractals, which introduce randomness into their construction. ...
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Solar energy technologies have been plagued by their limited visual appeal. Because the electrical power generated by solar panels increases with their surface area and therefore their occupancy of the observer’s visual field, aesthetics will play an increasingly critical role in their future success in urban environments. Inspired by previous psychology research highlighting the aesthetic qualities of fractal patterns, we investigated panel designs featuring fractal electrodes. We conducted behavioral studies which compared observers’ preferences for fractal and conventional bus-bar electrode patterns, along with computer simulations which compared their electrical performances. This led us to develop a hybrid electrode pattern which best combines the fractal and bus-bar designs. Here we show that the new hybrid electrode matches the electrical performance of bus-bars in terms of light transmission and minimizing electrical power losses, while benefiting from the superior aesthetics of fractal patterns. This innovative integration of psychology and engineering studies provides a framework for developing novel electrode patterns with increased implementation and acceptance.
... The built environment may feature geometric figures or patterns, various plants, and diverse materials (Soderlund and Newman, 2015). In general, complexity and order of nature are not terms used in conjunction, as increased complexity often causes chaos, not order (Taylor, 2006). However, Taylor (2006) stated that the complexity caused by natural elements, such as fractals, often promotes creativity and reduces stress levels, subject to individual preferences. ...
... In general, complexity and order of nature are not terms used in conjunction, as increased complexity often causes chaos, not order (Taylor, 2006). However, Taylor (2006) stated that the complexity caused by natural elements, such as fractals, often promotes creativity and reduces stress levels, subject to individual preferences. To the authors' knowledge, previous empirical research have not focused on complexity in the arrangement of natural elements in a built environment; rather, there has been an examination of the complexity caused by fractal geometry, such as wall art or paintings, and the impact on cognitive functioning, attentional fatigue, and stress reduction (Taylor, 2006;Hagerhall et al., 2008). ...
... However, Taylor (2006) stated that the complexity caused by natural elements, such as fractals, often promotes creativity and reduces stress levels, subject to individual preferences. To the authors' knowledge, previous empirical research have not focused on complexity in the arrangement of natural elements in a built environment; rather, there has been an examination of the complexity caused by fractal geometry, such as wall art or paintings, and the impact on cognitive functioning, attentional fatigue, and stress reduction (Taylor, 2006;Hagerhall et al., 2008). This study addresses this gap in the literature by capturing consumers' responses to and perceptions of complexity due to the arrangement of various natural elements. ...
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The study that biophilic store design (BSD) has a much higher perceived visual quality, increases the desire to patronize, increases willingness to spend retail stores shopping times is on the increase in the literature. The study of greenery in building environments has been vastly studied, however, the inclusion of greenery study in retail stores and its potentials to provide a strategic business advantage have been scarcely explored. This research work draws from the Attention Restoration Theory to unearth the impact of biophilic design attributes on consumer responses. Hence, this study asked: “How do attributes of biophilic design in retail stores impact consumers’ responses in retail stores”. A quantitative research method with an online questionnaire was employed; 177 participants were recruited. Multiple regression analysis was computed via SPSS and demonstrated that the four attributes (predictors) of biophilic design positively impact consumer responses. Findings for three attributes (biomorphic forms and patterns, material connection with nature, and complexity and order) were significant, while a visual connection with nature was not significant. These findings suggest that a biophilic design positively impact consumer responses; however, simply presenting or using natural elements is not sufficient to produce positive consumers' responses. Additionally, the t-test revealed that intent to purchase was significantly higher for a store low in biophilic attributes than the study hypotheses. The study's limitations and implications are discussed herein. This work contributes to the biophilic design paradigm of building projects by empirically demonstrating the restorative potential of lifestyle centers.
... In the latter, such characteristics are embedded as an integral part of the design or, in the simplest of cases, they emerge from the materials and the construction methods used. It has been proposed that exposure to this type of visual organization even in artificial environments may have the same positive effects [9,[25][26][27]. Closing the circle, the existence of this structural order in traditional architecture may in fact be a reflection of structural and functional patterns of our own nervous system [28]. ...
... Perfect fractals are purely mathematical constructs, but statistically self-similar fractals, where the repetitions are not exact, are everywhere in nature, from coastlines to galaxies and from tree branches to pulmonary airways and blood vessels [35][36][37]. It has been shown that exposure to certain fractal visual patterns in nature, architecture or visual arts has significant physiological effects [24,27,38,39]. However, there is more to these qualities of the natural or "biophilic" environment than their fractal properties. ...
... However, we can still remark that their high range is in keeping with the findings of Forsythe and colleague [50] for preferences in art, with several examples of very popular great paintings listed as ranging between 1.71 and 1.89. These are much higher than the "optimal" value of around 1.4, discussed by Taylor [27] and Salingaros [25] as stress-reducing. The explanation for this apparent discrepancy lies in more than one reasons, and examining them is beyond the scope of this discussion. ...
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There is extensive evidence today linking exposure to natural environments to favorable changes in mental and even physical health. There is also a growing body of work indicating that there are specific geometric properties of natural scenes that mediate these effects, and that these properties can also be found in artificial structures like buildings, especially those designed before the emergence of modernism. These geometries are also associated with aesthetic preference–we seem to like what is good for us. Here, using a questionnaire-based survey, we have tried to elucidate some of the parameters that play a role in formulating a preference for one form over the other. The images used were nature scenes from the Alpine landscape with various manipulations to alter their complexity, or with additions of computer graphics or various buildings. In all cases, the presence of a natural scaling hierarchy and of either fractal graphics or of ornate, non-local pre-modern buildings was always preferable to the alternative. We discuss these findings under the light of recent evidence in the field and conclude that they support the idea of the existence of a preference of our perceptive system for certain types of visual organization.
... Mesev ve diğerleri (1995) doğadaki tüm nesnelerde bu yapının var olduğunu belirtmekte ve bu yapı fraktal yapı olarak tanımlanmaktadır. Fraktal yapı, doğanın geometrik dili olarak kentsel mekânlara yansıtıldığı taktirde kentin görsel estetik kalitesini olumlu yönde etkilemektedir (Nasar ve Hong, 1999;Salingaros, 2001;Taylor, 2006;Chalup, Henderson, Ostwald ve Wiklendt 2008;Salingaros, 2010). Kentsel tasarımda biçimsel estetiği değerlendirmede kullanılan nitelik sıfatları arasında da hiyerarşi, ritim, çeşitlilikten doğan görsel zenginlik içinde yavaş yavaş kaybolmaktadır. ...
... Nöro-psikoloji alanında yapılan çalışmalarda, kentsel yapılı çevre özelliklerinin bireylerin bilişsel süreçlerini ve duygusal tepkilerini etkiledikleri, estetik deneyimde yapılı çevre özelliklerinin önemli olduğu vurgulanmaktadır. İnsan beyninin fraktal bir yapıya sahip olduğu, fraktal yapıya sahip mekânların daha kolay algılandığı belirtilmektedir (Taylor, 2006). Mekânın fraktal yapısı ile bu mekânların bireyin algısını pozitif yönde etkilemesi arasında doğrusal bir ilişki bulunmaktadır. ...
... Mekânın fraktal yapısı ile bu mekânların bireyin algısını pozitif yönde etkilemesi arasında doğrusal bir ilişki bulunmaktadır. Fraktal yapıya sahip mekânlar bilinçli veya bilinçsiz olarak, bireyin algısını olumlu yönde etkilemekte, birey doğası gereği, fraktal yapıya sahip uyarıcıları daha kolay ve hızlı algılamaktadır (Salingaros, 2001;Taylor, 2006 timli olan Ankara'da Şehir ve Bölge Planlama bölümlerinin lisans ve yükesek öğrencilerine uygulanmıştır. ...
... We now understand that the visual features responsible for positive emotional responses are to be found not only in nature but also in artificial environments that are known to be directly beneficial [36,[53][54][55][56][57]. Industrial-modernist architecture has to be strongly criticized for removing these visual and organizational features from our environment. ...
... One wonders, however, why architects starting in the early 20th century ignored the child's physical scale range in creating the built environment, convincing society to consent to this drastic change. Uncompromising stylistic dictates suddenly eliminated the fractality observed in the millennia of traditional construction [52][53][54][55][56][57]. ...
... Data on decreasing children's cognitive development are sufficient to trigger a paradigm shift in how we evaluate architecture. Because it flatly contradicts biophilia, some researchers now suspect that minimalist architecture interferes with a key evolutionary mechanism [31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][55][56][57][60][61][62][63][64][65]. Environmental complexity and organization train the human brain, building explanatory systems to interpret those informational qualities necessary for survival-and at the same time spurring humans to represent them in everyday surroundings. ...
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There are indications that children born during the period of COVID-19 lockdown have cognitive development issues, without having been affected by the virus. We discuss here the idea that environmental deprivation—and, especially, the lack of appropriate visual stimulation—might be one source of these defects. This thought is in line with previous findings in children brought up in orphanages with poor environmental stimulation, hypothesizing that the minimalist architectural style prevailing for the last several decades is among the potential contributing factors. The process of eliminating organized complexity characteristic of organic forms may prove to be detrimental for humanity’s future, providing suboptimal environmental stimulation and opportunities for interaction during the critical stages of brain development.
... However, a prolific strand of research has been focused on defining values or ranges of FD values which would be considered the "most preferred" or "most natural" (TAYLOR 2006, TAYLOR & SPROTT 2008, HAGERHALL et al. 2004. Such a number would vary greatly depending on the method used for estimation but is also meaningless on its own as it only captures a specific aspect of the pattern. ...
... An area of research which seems particularly fertile resides in the overlap between landscape design and environmental psychology and considers the concept of perceptual fluency or the bottom-up processing of visual data as a possible explanation for humans' affinity for fractal patterns (JOYE 2007, JULIANI et al. 2016). This strand of research can be traced back to TAYLOR (2006) who first compared different types of images based on their fractal dimension and ability to induce stress-reducing benefits usually attributed to the visiting of natural environments. Although this approach has often focussed on determining a single preferred value of FD instead of considering fractal patterns as a whole and although it tends to overly rely on the urban/nature dichotomy, the original hypothesis on which it is founded is well supported by some preliminary evidence (HAGERHALL et al. 2015). ...
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This paper presents the summary of a literature review of the methods and interpretations of fractal geometry currently used in landscape architecture. Over 40 studies were examined for their use of fractal concepts within the analysis of landscape-related elements. Although much work has been done on the quantification of landscape parameters for the purpose of visual assessments and preference predictions, the links between applied landscape design and fractal principles remain tenuous. Several methodological hurdles, such as issues of signal transformation and segmentation, as well as the inevitable questions surrounding the ecological validity of landscape surrogates still stand in the way of making fractal geometry a useful tool for landscape architects.
... Diagnostic tools coupled to evidence are being developed, which answer long-puzzling questions on why people prefer certain configurations, geometries, and settings. Thus, biology-based aesthetics play a central role in unconscious judgments of built and natural environments [4][5][6]12,43,44]. This is particularly true of urbanism, where architecture plays such a primal role [70][71][72][73][74][75]. ...
... These have a specific range of complexity, scaling iteration, and so on. The built environments that accurately mirror such properties are perceived as safe, interesting, comfortable, and beautiful [3,6,8,12,43,54]. ...
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This article reviews current research in visual urban perception. The temporal sequence of the first few milliseconds of visual stimulus processing sheds light on the historically ambiguous topic of aesthetic experience. Automatic fractal processing triggers initial attraction/avoidance evaluations of an environment’s salubriousness, and its potentially positive or negative impacts upon an individual. As repeated cycles of visual perception occur, the attractiveness of urban form affects the user experience much more than had been previously suspected. These perceptual mechanisms promote walkability and intuitive navigation, and so they support the urban and civic interactions for which we establish communities and cities in the first place. Therefore, the use of multiple fractals needs to reintegrate with biophilic and traditional architecture in urban design for their proven positive effects on health and well-being. Such benefits include striking reductions in observers’ stress and mental fatigue. Due to their costs to individual well-being, urban performance, environmental quality, and climatic adaptation, this paper recommends that nontraditional styles should be hereafter applied judiciously to the built environment.
... Fractal geometry is a special area of research in design fields [40]. Taylor (2006) made fractal calculations on the outer contours of urban skylines as a stress-reducing factor [41]. Various computer programs have been developed for fractal dimension measurements and model proposals. Among these, the HarFA program is used to measure the visual richness of images (photographs). ...
... Fractal geometry is a special area of research in design fields [40]. Taylor (2006) made fractal calculations on the outer contours of urban skylines as a stress-reducing factor [41]. Various computer programs have been developed for fractal dimension measurements and model proposals. ...
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Urban skylines are important components of a city's morphology and are an area of interest for urban design. There are various research areas on urban skylines like protection of historical urban skylines, facade analyses, future models on urban three-dimensional appearances, high building policies and view management. Urban skylines also provide the best visual representations to observe the phenomenon of urban transformation and change. The aim of this study is to form a basis for a multi-component urban skyline aesthetics assessment model that includes formal and socio-psychological dimensions by grouping the methodologies of studies on urban skylines. The information of the urban skyline analyzes developed by the author selected from different countries formed the basis for the study model. Among the methods to be covered, there are approaches such as GIS techniques, aesthetic evaluation with information entropy, fractal geometry , and cognitive studies for urban skylines. The research approach includes the examination and evaluation of applied studies of this area based on literature. Öz: Kent siluetleri, kent morfolojisinin önemli bileşenleri arasındadır ve kentsel tasarımın ilgi alanıdır. Tarihi kent siluetinin korunması, cephe analizleri, kentsel üç boyutlu görünümler üzerin-den gelecek modelleri, yüksek yapı politikaları ve görünüm yönetimi gibi kent siluetleri üzerine çe-şitli araştırma alanları bulunmaktadır. Kent siluetleri, kentsel dönüşüm ve değişim olgusunu göz-lemleyebilmek için en iyi görsel temsilleri sağlar. Bu çalışmanın amacı, kent siluetlerinin estetik değerleri üzerine araştırma yöntemlerini gruplandırarak, biçimsel ve sosyo-psikolojik boyutları içeren çok bileşenli bir kent silueti değerlendirme modelinin kurgulanması için bir temel oluştur-maktır. Farklı ülkelerden seçilmiş yazar tarafından geliştirilmiş siluet analizlerinin bilgileri çalış-ma modeli için altyapı oluşturmuştur. Ele alınan yöntemler arasında CBS teknikleri, enformasyon entropisi ile estetik değerlendirme, fraktal geometri ve kentsel siluet için bilişsel çalışmalar gibi yaklaşımlar bulunmaktadır. Araştırma yaklaşımı, konuya ilişkin uygulamalı çalışmaların literatüre dayalı olarak incelenmesini ve değerlendirilmesini içermektedir. Anahtar Kelimeler: Kentsel tasarım, kent silueti, kent estetiği, siluet değerlendirmesi, araştırma yöntemleri.
... This experimental result supports a recent understanding of fractally based human cognition (ordered geometrical structure on a hierarchy of scales) [4][5][6][7][8]. Evolution has prepared us to input information on distinct linked scales, as for example in the nested symmetries of a fern leaf. ...
... These effects are to be attributed to features of their geometry, and such features are not only found in nature, but also in artificial environments, especially in premodern architecture of different countries, cultures, and styles. Exposure to this type of visual organization (organized complexity) may have the same positive effects, regardless of whether it is found in natural or artificial structures [6][7][8][14][15][16][17][18]. ...
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Eye-tracking technology is a biometric tool that has found many commercial and research applications. The recent advent of affordable wearable sensors has considerably expanded the range of these possibilities to fields such as computer gaming, education, entertainment, health, neuromarketing, psychology, etc. The Visual Attention Software by 3M (3M-VAS) is an artificial intelligence application that was formulated using experimental data from eye-tracking. It can be used to predict viewer reactions to images, generating fixation point probability maps and fixation point sequence estimations, thus revealing pre-attentive processing of visual stimuli with a very high degree of accuracy. We have used 3M-VAS software in an innovative implementation to analyze images of different buildings, either in their original state or photographically manipulated, as well as various geometric patterns. The software not only reveals non-obvious fixation points, but also overall relative design coherence, a key element of Christopher Alexander’s theory of geometrical order. A more evenly distributed field of attention seen in some structures contrasts with other buildings being ignored, those showing instead unconnected points of splintered attention. Our findings are non-intuitive and surprising. We link these results to both Alexander’s theory and Neuroscience, identify potential pitfalls in the software’s use, and also suggest ways to avoid them.
... One example of biophilic visual stimulation involves complex pattens from fractal geometry, such as those found in wood grain, which contrast to the typically neutral office aesthetic. While these patterns can reduce stress (perhaps by providing fascination per attention restoration theory [125]), high dimensions of pattern intensity can induce stress and nausea [126]. Green ergonomics designers should consider how different stimuli, such as patterns in carpets, wallpapers, and seat cushions, coalesce and form a single visual scene. ...
... Third, and perhaps most importantly, the inherent social dimension of an open-plan layout affords the opportunity for social cohesion through shared place attachment [126]. Social interaction is one aspect of OPOs that users are more satisfied with compared with private office layouts [8], and that workers might increasingly demand from an office to offset the social isolation that can occur when working flexibly or remotely [34]. ...
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Open-plan office (OPO) layouts emerged to allow organizations to adapt to changing workplace demands. We explore the potential for OPOs to provide such adaptive capacity to respond to two contemporary issues for organizations: the chronic challenge of environmental sustainability, and the acute challenges emerging from the great COVID-19 homeworking experiment. We apply a socio-technical systems perspective and green ergonomics principles to investigate the relationship between an OPO environment and the occupants working within it. In doing so, we consider relevant technical and human factors, such as green technology and employee green behavior. We also consider how a green OPO might provide non-carbon benefits such as improving occupant well-being and supporting the emergence of a green organizational culture. Our investigation highlights several avenues through which an OPO designed with green ergonomic principles could benefit occupants, the organizations they work for, and the natural environment of which they are a part and on which they depend. We find reason to suspect that green OPOs could play an important role in sustainable development; and offer a research agenda to help determine whether it is true that OPOs can, indeed, exemplify how “going green” may be good for business.
... This positive psychological reading of space comes through a fractal characteristic described by Mandelbrot (1977) as the "D" dimension. The use of this geometry as a tension reduction device can be found in studies such as Wise and Rosenberg (1986) and Hargerhall, Purcell and Taylor (2004), Salingaros (2003) and (2012), Taylor (2006) and Joye (2007). ...
... Spehar et al. (2003) comment that these different responses are influenced by the fractal dimension 'D' and are present in all elements of fractal geometry, ranging from 1.0D to 2.0D to be considered compositions with fractal characteristics. And based on studies such as Wise and Rosenberg (1986) and Hargerhall, Purcell and Taylor (2004), authors like Salingaros (2003), Taylor (2006) and Joye (2007) relate a set of possible reasons that associate fractal geometry with positive human interpretations. These reasons include biological processes such as: brain organization; heartbeat; eye movement. ...
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his article seeks to create and evaluate a parametric process that allows identifying the D dimension in fractal compositions through a Box-counting tool. The use of this method in a parametric process allows sequential tests that can confirm whether a composition is a fractal structure. The theoretical survey and the development of a parametric process in a visual algorithm were carried out for the development of this research. The tests with the tool took place in linear fractal compositions already known and developed in another research. As a result, it was possible to compare the D dimension of different compositions, made with fractal geometric patterns. In the conclusion, it was possible to observe that the process through a parametric tool was successful in making it possible to evaluate compositions and arrangements in an agile way. A direct relationship was identified between the iterations used and the proportional increase dimension D.
... Consistent with the alpha wave study, a NASA-funded project suggests that the aesthetic resonance induces a state of relaxation. The study examined the stress-levels of participants in a mock-up space laboratory [68]. While exposed to images, participants performed a sequence of stress-inducing mental tasks separated by recovery periods, thus creating a sequence of alternating high and low stress periods. ...
... The physiological response to the stress was recorded using the skin conductance method employed in Ulrich's original stress studies of nature [4]. The stress saw-tooth was found to dampen when participants viewed mid-D fractals, indicating a stress-reduction of 60% [68]. ...
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Fractal objects are prevalent in natural scenery. Their repetition of patterns at increasingly fine magnifications creates a rich complexity. Fractals displaying mid-range complexity are the most common and include trees, clouds, and mountains. The “fractal fluency” model states that human vision has adapted to process these mid-range fractals with ease. I will first discuss fractal fluency and demonstrate how it enhances the observer’s visual capabilities by focusing on experiments that have important practical consequences for improving the built environment. These enhanced capabilities generate an aesthetic experience and physiological stress reduction. I will discuss strategies for integrating fractals into building designs to induce positive impacts on the observer. Examples include fractal solar panels, fractal window shades, and fractal floor patterns. These applications of fractal fluency represent a fundamental and potentially impactful form of salutogenesis.
... How do we translate intuition into numbers? In order to enhance connectivity between people and their built environment, we may base our calculations on the researches of Nikos A. Salingaros [41,42], Carl Bovill [43], Michael J. Ostwald [44], Wolfgang E. Lorenz [39] and others [45,46] in a survey on the architectural application of novel symmetries [47]. ...
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This paper explores the working hypothesis that fractal patterns that closely match those found in nature are more likely to convey a strong sense of genius loci to humans by comparison with ‘Euclidean’ patterns that do not occur in nature frequently. A part of this survey is concerned with showing the pattern-conscious thinking, regarding the façade composition and material textures, of historical buildings compared to different ecological or geological scenes. We also examine the background of pattern-design from architectural theory, and extrapolate the matter to certain questions about spatial quality, tectonics, and the phenomenon of place. Our most important concern is an attempt to enhance architectural arguments regarding place and character with mathematical calculations. We introduce ‘relief method’ as a possible way to capture the haptic nature of architecture beyond the patterns of its two-dimensional projections. Through this approach, façades are considered as reliefs and pictures at the same time, thus reflecting the tension between their materiality and visual representation. Fractal geometry also helps to understand how architectonic layers define scale, and by which means architecture could be translated into the human level of physical existence.
... Initially developed to fill blank space and blend hues, I would draw tiny circles of varying sizes over and over again, reminiscent of soothing fractal patterns. Fractals are shapes repeated in space, at different magnifications (Taylor et al 2005;Taylor 2006). They are everywhere in nature (e.g. ...
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Artistic technique and scientific discovery are superficially contradict- tory, but are unified at their core as products of creativity. I have always embraced both disciplines, but at some point during my academic journey, I lost my imagination and ability to dream creatively. For over a decade, I have remained passionate about perfecting a way to retrieve this intrinsic component of myself, and nurture it in my students and peers. We must think anew and act anew - bridge the gulf between the disciplines of art and science - if we are to rescue creativity in scientific discovery, and retain many of the bright minds that burn out and even leave academia in science. Surrealism and fractals in nature are such bridges, and offer a space for early career scientists to embrace the full breadth and cultural capacity of science. Here, I present a retrospective review of artworks I have produced over nearly two decades, in considering how they reflect my mindset and relationship with science at various stages of my academic journey.
... Fractal patterns were found to elicit a positive perceptual response. For instance, Taylor (2006) conducted an experiment where participants were shown pictures of fractal and non-fractal patterns and found that 95% of participants preferred fractals to non-fractal patterns. Fractal patterns were also found to enhance stress recovery compared to a non-fractal pattern, which increased stress levels by 13%. ...
Article
Sunlight is a multisensory phenomenon that can enhance occupant's comfort, health, and connection to the outside environment through its dynamic luminous and thermal attributes. One gap in the existing literature on sunlight exposure is in addressing the visual interest of sunlight patterns and its potential effects on visual comfort. This study employed an experimental procedure where 33 office workers were subjected to three different window and sunlight patterns: fractal pattern, striped pattern, and clear at an office building over three days (one condition per day). Subjective ratings and physical environmental measurements were collected and analyzed to understand differences among the three conditions. Results showed no significant differences in visual comfort or visual interest of sunlight patterns among the three conditions. Desk layout influenced visual interest and view quality ratings. The fractal and striped patterns negatively influenced view quality compared to the clear condition. These results suggest that the shape of window and sunlight patterns might have limited to no impact on visual comfort and interest in offices when workers are preoccupied performing typical office work.
... Spehar et al. (2003) describe that the fractal dimension or D can be determined by comparing the number of squares occupied in a mesh with different scales, where "D" is a value between 1.0 and 2.0. This feature is also associated with providing a positive psychological reading of the space around us. Taylor (2006) and Joye (2007) comment on a set of possible reasons that associate fractals with positive human interpretations. And unconsciously this may have influenced that the fractal geometry is present in architecture in their general context or in different details and volumes. ...
... Looking on a fractal structure that reduces stress, the most preferred ones have a D between 1.3 and 1.5 [15]. ...
... Drawing inspiration from fractal patterns observed in nature [43], and color psychology [50], our visualization encodes these patterns into colored Boids. In particular, one can control the boids' stroke length and stroke width (Figure 4a) as a way to create an analogy between the Boids movements and the complex patterns observed in nature; previous work found that fractal patterns are aesthetically pleasing and help reduce stress levels [44]. The stroke length describes the trail of the boids as time passes; the higher its value, the longer the light ray prolongs. ...
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Affective sharing within groups strengthens coordination and empathy, leads to better health outcomes, and increases productivity and performance. Existing tools for affective sharing face one main challenge: creating a representation of collective emotional states that is relatable and universally accessible. To overcome this challenge, we propose HeartBees, a bio-feedback system for visualizing collective emotional states, which maps a multi-dimensional emotion model into a metaphorical visualization of flocks of birds. Grounded on Affective Computing literature and physiological sensing, we mapped physiological indicators that could be obtained from wearable devices into a multi-dimensional emotion model, which, in turn, our HeartBees can make use of. We evaluated our nature-inspired interactive system with 353 online participants, whose responses showed good consensus in the way they subjectively perceived the visualizations. Last, we discuss practical applications of HeartBees.
... Getting out of buildings, into natural green space, walking, or forest bathing, has long been recognized as beneficial and a prescribed option for general practitioners. Even observing the ordered complexity of fractals, which are self-similar scales found within nature, can reduce stress [92]. This is a key relief that is especially needed during Covid-19. ...
Article
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Global health emergencies such as Covid-19 have highlighted the importance of access to nature and open spaces in our cities for social, physical, and mental health. However, there continues to be a disconnect between our need for nature and our daily lived experience. Recent research indicates that our connectedness and relationship with nature, and in particular biophilic design, may be key for improving both health and quality of life. Rather than relying on abstract universal ideas of “nature”, using evidence-based biophilic design and policy at a building, neighborhood, and city scale, to link our daily lives with biodiversity, may encourage sense of place and make environmental action more meaningful. Then, improving our natural capital in the urban built environment might help address the current climate and disease crisis, as well as improving our physical and mental health. Drawing from emerging research and innovative practice, the paper describes key research and design paradigms that influence the way we understand the benefits of nature for different environments, including the workplace, neighborhood, and city, and explains where biophilic design theory sits in this field. Examples from recent research carried out in London and Chicago are provided, aiming at demonstrating what kind of research can be functional to what context, followed by a detailed analysis of its application supporting both human and ecological health. The study concludes indicating key policy and design lessons learned around regenerative design and biophilia as well as new directions for action, particularly with regard to climate change, sense of place, and well-being.
... One idea is that the deep mathematical structures of scenes are responsible for the effect. Richard Taylor (2006) and his colleagues (Taylor et al., 2011) have argued that the inherent power of self-similarity-that is, visual elements that repeat at a number of different scales--influences both aesthetic preference and physiological state. Taylor and colleagues have experimentally demonstrated that images containing fractal dimensions seen most commonly in natural scenes (those with fractal dimensions of approximately 1.4-1.5), ...
Article
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Although urban planners and architects have understood that there is a relationship between the design of a setting and our thoughts and emotions, it is only recently that we have had the tools to properly dissect this relationship. New methods for measuring brain states in field settings in immersive virtual reality have generated a host of novel findings, but a theme that connects many of these findings together is the idea that human beings have a deep affinity for vitality at every level from the interior of a home to an urban streetscape. Not only this, but recent evidence suggests that we respond to the vitality of scenes almost immediately, even after exposures as brief as 50 milliseconds, possibly using ambient visual processing mechanisms that rely on our peripheral visual field. Further, when we sense and respond to vitality, positive affect increases, which in turn promotes affiliation and buffers us against urban loneliness. I will present findings from experiments both in the laboratory and in the field that show the power of vitality to effect behavioural change, and I will argue that harnessing this power is one of the keys to building a psychologically sustainable city.
... According to this statement, the strongest emotional impact on a person is exerted by structures whose geometry is close to that of natural objects [24]. The results obtained during the optical and physical trials enable one to rationally explain the high efficiency of fractal art therapy, which finds multiple conformations in medical practice [25][26][27]. From the viewpoint of philosophical reflection of the basic interdisciplinarity principles, they are oriented to elucidating transdisciplinary ties, whose description demands further improvement of methodological approaches. ...
Article
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The field of neuroaesthetics, which allows description of the beauty of fractals, has been considered in this work. The arguments for the concept of selection of the spatial frequencies of fractal images in the brain cortex have been discussed. Special attention has been paid to the stability of the scaling parameter of a fractal and its Fourier transform, indicating the ability for rapid optical signal processing in particular brain sites. Rapid Fourier processing of visual signals makes one feel comfortable and causes the sense of beauty when contemplating a fractal object. The results of this study enable one to explain the efficiency of visual art therapy in medicine from the physical viewpoint, as well as to give a physical interpretation to some statements of modern aesthetics.
... In the case of the positive PTC fragments used in this experiment, the fundamental frequency of every chord was reincarnated on a larger scale by the frequency of repetition of that chord, hence reproducing a fractal pattern. Furthermore, research could be oriented towards the understanding of consonance from the perspective of scale symmetry: a study by R.P Taylor (2006) suggests that visual perception of fractals triggers aesthetic appeal and stress reduction. It would be important to investigate if such effects can be observed in auditory perception as well, and how the sensation of consonance could be related to symmetry. ...
Thesis
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The present research investigates whether it is possible for a listener to identify a specific acoustic configuration, which presents a particular ratio between the fundamental frequency emerging from a major chord and the frequency at which that chord is repeated. This particular ratio is equivalent to the one defining unisons and octaves among pitches in contemporary western music theory. Notes related through such proportion are conventionally classified into the same pitch class, and trained listeners can discern if two notes pertain to the same pitch class or not. An experiment was conducted to determine whether subjects could perceive and recognize auditory stimuli whose tempi and tonics mathematically belonged to the same pitch class. The results of this research indicate that, within a defined acoustic context, the presence of this particular ratio can be accurately identified by listeners.
... Fractals existing in nature exhibit randomness, where patterns repeat at different scales. Fractal patterns with a medium level of complexity are the most restorative, relaxing, and reliever of stress (Hagerhall et al, 2008;Taylor, 2006). In addition, fractal patterns affect human preference. ...
Conference Paper
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A substantial portion of the world population spends a minimum of 40 hours weekly in indoor office environments and almost 90% of their time indoors. A fact that placed significant importance on outdoor views in work environments for occupants to maintain connections to nature and the outdoors. Previous studies have attributed a positive correlation between the presence of nature’s components in outdoor views and occupant’s satisfaction, physiological benefits, mental health, shorter postoperative hospital stays, lower medication dosages, better mood, lower job stress, and reduced churn rates. Despite the favorability of this evidence, the composition of view attributes and components that lead to these positive effects have not been adequately investigated yet. Most previous studies concentrated on the comparisons of views of nature versus urban views preferences, yet failed to acknowledge the complex dimension of view parameters and the percentages of elements of nature within a view, such as percentage of sky area, ground cover, trees, and shrubs. Similarly, the type, quality, and composition of urban views have not been adequately investigated. This study attempts to answer an important yet under-investigated question related to the performative aspects of views and their composition. It also attempts to quantify view preference by developing a metric for view performance and testing its impacts on occupant’s wellbeing. The study employed a cross-sectional sorting task survey design to assess view quality outside offices. Data was collected from 175 office participants-- who were given 12 images (Q-sort task) that contain different views compositions--accessible from their offices--which vary from the extreme views of nature to extreme urban views. Results suggest that common classifications of views into two types, views of nature versus urban views, are misleading and do not realistically represent the typical content of views. Instead, a scaled dimension and metric to evaluate views based on their composition is more accurate as it offers a predictive power to measure the performative aspects of views. Findings provide an evidence-based guideline to design a better view for occupants in work environments from the inside-out as well as from the outside-in.
... While some of them indicated a preference and distinct brain activity for medium fractal dimensions, other studies found no clear relationship to rated restorativeness (Hagerhall et al., 2004Hagerhall and Berto, 2008). Relatedly, Taylor and colleagues claimed that exposure to images with medium fractal dimensions leads to beneficial physiological states (Taylor et al., 2005;Taylor, 2006), but both the stimulus set and methodical approach in their study were limited and thus do not allow a valid conclusion. ...
Article
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Nature experiences usually lead to restorative effects, such as positive affective states and reduced stress. Even watching nature compared to urban images, which are known to differ in several image properties that are processed at early stages, can lead to such effects. One potential pathway explaining how the visual input alone evokes restoration is that image properties processed at early stages in the visual system evoke positive associations. To study these automatic bottom-up processes and the role of lower-level visual processing involved in the restoring effects of nature, we conducted two studies. First, we analyzed nature and urban stimuli for a comprehensive set of image properties. Second, we investigated implicit associations in a dichotomous set of nature and urban images in three domains, namely, valence, mood, and stress restoration. To examine the role of lower-level processing in these associations, we also used stimuli that lacked the spatial information but retained certain image properties of the original photographs (i.e., phase-scrambled images). While original nature images were associated with “good,” “positive mood,” and “restoration,” urban images were associated with “bad” and “stress.” The results also showed that image properties differ between our nature and urban images and that they contribute to the implicit associations with valence, although spatial information and therefore recognition of the environment remained necessary for positive associations. Moreover, lower-level processed image properties seem to play no or only minor roles for associations with mood and stress restoration.
... The organization of urban elements form a fractal structure. In spaces with a Fractal structure, there appears a hierarchical order, rhythm and diversity and such spaces off er visual quality by infl uencing the individual's perception positively (Salingaros, 2001;Taylor, 2006). Mesev et al (1995) state that all objects in nature have a fractal structure; in the formation of objects in nature, there is a complexity/richness and order arising from dimensional hierarchy, self-similarity and diversity, which is not straight and one-dimensional and which can be explained through the mathematical rule (Salingaros, 1999;Alexander et al., 1977). ...
... There is preliminary support for the processing fluency hypothesis. Some studies have found that fractal art and architecture can have restorative effects measured by electrodermal activity and EEG (Taylor, 2006;Hägerhäll et al., 2008). However, we are unaware of a study that has successfully implemented these characteristics into a virtual environment. ...
Article
Decades of research in environmental psychology have shown that contact with natural environments has restorative, stress-ameliorating effects. At present, researchers in the emerging field of virtual natural environments are studying whether these restorative health effects can be reproduced with simulated environments, raising new possibilities for preventive healthcare and therapy. This paper aims to synthesize earlier research on restoration and virtual nature, including theory, measurement, and modalities. Restoration theories were reviewed regarding their connection to measures and modalities, identifying possible research gaps in the current approaches. Furthermore, we performed a descriptive analysis of empirical studies utilizing virtual nature for restoration, exploring the commonalities and differences between the studies, emphasizing measured outcomes and modalities. Based on a thematic analysis of the theoretical and empirical review, we also introduce a new conceptual model named the Multidimensional Model of Restoration Measurement. This model connects different aspects of restoration measurement and theories. We conclude the review by discussing current measurement practices and envision multiple paths for future research.
... In campus settings, green and built spaces have intrinsic qualities that enable students to connect to nature and gain benefits. Fractal qualities (i.e., ordered details arranged in a nested scaling hierarchy) contribute positively to well-being (Hagerhall et al., 2004;Taylor, 2006). ...
Article
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University Campuses remain important settings for nurturing and supporting student health and quality of life (QoL). Research shows the health benefits of nature experiences may be facilitated by campus spaces and activities that afford connectedness. Connectedness to nature, others, and self may allow students to cope with mental fatigue, stress, and a constant need for restoration. Despite recent encouraging trends, we still lack an integrative conceptual framework to describe the mechanisms involved in achieving connectedness for making recommendations for campus design. In this conceptual review, we examine students’ connectedness in campus settings in relation to biophilic elements and attributes. We aim to understand how both direct and indirect pursuits in nature and also place-based experiences on campus foster connectedness and consequently impact students’ health and QoL. Our analysis shows that connectedness seen through the lens of Kellert’s biophilic design principles and aided by Alexander’s pattern language provides a relational and long-term perspective on recommending strategies for connecting students to nature, to others, and to themselves in campus settings.
... Especially phenomena studied within the interdisciplinary field between evolutionary biology, environmental psychology, and cognitive science appear to lend themselves very well to inform spatial design. Such phenomena include, for example, thigmotaxis or the tendency to avoid the centre of open spaces, seeking the edges (Kallai et al., 2007;Sussmann & Hollander, 2015); visual complexity, human's visual orientation and preference for ordered complexity (patterns) and detailing (Joye, 2007;Taylor, 2006); visual symmetry, our preference for symmetrical features, associated with power and robustness (Cárdenas, 2006;Ruggles, 2017); storytelling, the human trait of narrative ability or the ability to create multiple scenarios in any situation to create a sense of identity and meaning (Aldama, 2015;Young & Saver, 2001); affordances, understood as the qualities of an object or an environment that communicate opportunities to act in a certain way (Djebbara et al., 2019;Gibson, 1966;Gibson, 1979;Rietveld & Kiverstein, 2014); and the notion of biophilia, concerning human's instinctive need to connect with nature (Kaplan & Kaplan,1989;Kellert et al., 2008). Some of these phenomena will be explained in greater detail in the student projects. ...
Article
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Growing insights from neuroscience—here, understood as an umbrella term for a number of empirical disciplines that study the relation brain, nervous system, genes, and behaviour—and its inquiries into how human behaviour and well-being is affected by interiors can enrich and inform the design of interiors and its properties innovatively. Interior design education can play a key role in linking the insights stemming from research and turn the question of human, experiential responsiveness into an elementary perspective of the design process. In this paper, we explain a pedagogical method developed for one of our graduate studios that addresses this issue and create a framework for a neuroscience-informed focus. Additionally, we illustrate the outcomes of student work created in this studio through two projects, each having a unique focus relating to interiors and the question of human behaviour and well-being, i.e., visual complexity and affordances. With the establishment of this master studio, we aim to provide students with an awareness and insights into how the many fields of study within neuroscience can facilitate, support, confirm, or adjust design knowledge.
... The transition from order to disorder is defined by fractal geometry. In cities designed with a fractal approach, the individual's perception is positively affected, and the humanenvironment relationship is strengthened (Salingaros, 2010;Taylor, 2006). According to various studies, there is a positive relationship between individual judgment regarding visual quality and fractal dimension expressing the level of complexity (Cooper & Oskrochi, 2008;Cutting & Garvin, 1987). ...
Article
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Purpose The urban design criteria significantly affect the visual quality of space. Enclosure and Complexity can be defined as two crucial urban design principles that affect the perceptibility and visual quality of space. This study aimed to offer an objective and perceptual evaluation method in assessing the street’s enclosure ratio. In the study, the street's enclosure ratio was evaluated via the street skyline's complexity. Design/Methodology/Approach According to the study's hypothesis, as the street's enclosure ratio increases, the street skyline's complexity level decreases. For testing this hypothesis, the street images were selected from the London and Chicago cities. Firstly, the skylines of the streets were determined on images, and then, the fractal dimensions of skylines were calculated. Then, the street’s enclosure ratio and the factors that affect street skyline's fractal dimension were measured with a defined measurement system. Subsequently, the relationship between the street’s enclosure ratio and calculated street skyline's fractal dimensions was examined by regression analysis. Findings As a result, it was determined that there is an inverse relationship between the street’s enclosure ratio and the street skyline’s fractal dimensions. As the enclosure ratio increases, the complexity of the skyline decreases. The decrease in the complexity level of the skyline weakens the visual quality and perceptibility of the street. Research Limitations In this study, the perceptual evaluation of the street’s enclosure ratio was examined with an objective method. This method can also be reinforced with a subjective evaluation and more precise results can be obtained. Social Implications The obtained results can provide important clues to increase the visual quality and perceptibility of the streets. In perceptible spaces with high visual quality, feelings such as liking, trust, belonging and comfort develop in people. Originality/Value The fractal approach as an objective method is used widely for perceptual evaluation of the complexity level in cities. However, it was determined that very few studies examined the street’s enclosure ratio with the perceptual and objective evaluation method. Perceptual evaluations of the enclosure were generally made with subjective methods. This study offered an objective and perceptual evaluation approach for examining the street’s enclosure ratio.
... Mehaffy and Salingaros (2015) explored many complexity science ideas, such as fractals and complex networks, which have close links to the wholeness for designing a living planet. Importantly, fractal or living structure is found to have a healing effect for human health and well-being (Ulrich 1984, Taylor 2006, Salingaros 2012b). The wholeness constitutes some key conceptual insights for the new urban renaissance for making or re-making better built environments (Mehaffy 2017, Salingaros 2019. ...
Article
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As Christopher Alexander conceived and defined through his life's work - The Nature of Order - wholeness is a recursive structure that recurs in space and matter and is reflected in human minds and cognition. Based on the definition of wholeness, a mathematical model of wholeness, together with its topological representation, has been developed, and it is able to address not only why a structure is beautiful, but also how much beauty the structure has. Given the circumstance, this paper is attempted to argue for the wholeness as the scientific foundation of sustainable urban design and planning, with the help of the mathematical model and topological representation. We start by introducing the wholeness as a mathematical structure of physical space that pervasively exists in our surroundings, along with two fundamental laws - scaling law and Tobler's law - that underlie the 15 properties for characterizing and making living structures. We argue that urban design and planning can be considered to be wholeness-extending processes, guided by two design principles of differentiation and adaptation, to transform a space - in a piecemeal fashion - into a living or more living structure. We further discuss several other urban design theories and how they can be justified by and placed within the theory of wholeness. With the wholeness as the scientific foundation, urban design can turn into a rigorous science with creation of living structures as the primary aim. Keywords: Beauty, life, scaling law, adaptation, differentiation, and organic world view
... Biomorphic design implication is not only the form-related but the inherent qualities of construction as well (Gruber, 2016). Humans feel more comfortable with elements that could decrease stress, 3 per cent reduction with fractal images showing nature (Salingaros, 2012;Taylor, 2006). According to Joye (2007), architectural designs with biomorphic design elements promote fitness, positive feeling and stress reduction. ...
... The increasing amount of time people spend indoors surrounded by Euclidean architecture produces visual strain because of the additional visual effort required to process more artificial spatial frequencies is suggested to lead to detrimental effects such as increased rates of headaches (Penacchio and Wilkins, 2015). Beyond alleviating physical discomfort, occupant stress levels can be minimized through fractal installations reminiscent of nature by reducing cognitive and visual strain produced by surrounding unnatural spatial frequencies (Taylor, 2006;Hagerhall et al., 2008;Le et al., 2017). These positive impacts of viewing fractals can be considered within the context of biophilia (Wilson, 1984) which recognizes the inherent need of humans to connect to nature. ...
Article
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Highly prevalent in nature, fractal patterns possess self-similar components that repeat at varying size scales. The perceptual experience of human-made environments can be impacted with inclusion of these natural patterns. Previous work has demonstrated consistent trends in preference for and complexity estimates of fractal patterns. However, limited information has been gathered on the impact of other visual judgments. Here we examine the aesthetic and perceptual experience of fractal ‘global-forest’ designs already installed in humanmade spaces and demonstrate how fractal pattern components are associated with positive psychological experiences that can be utilized to promote occupant wellbeing. These designs are composite fractal patterns consisting of individual fractal ‘tree-seeds’ which combine to create a ‘global fractal forest.’ The local ‘tree-seed’ patterns, global configuration of tree-seed locations, and overall resulting ‘global-forest’ patterns have fractal qualities. These designs span multiple mediums yet are all intended to lower occupant stress without detracting from the function and overall design of the space. In this series of studies, we first establish divergent relationships between various visual attributes, with pattern complexity, preference, and engagement ratings increasing with fractal complexity compared to ratings of refreshment and relaxation which stay the same or decrease with complexity. Subsequently, we determine that the local constituent fractal (‘tree-seed’) patterns contribute to the perception of the overall fractal design, and address how to balance aesthetic and psychological effects (such as individual experiences of perceived engagement and relaxation) in fractal design installations. This set of studies demonstrates that fractal preference is driven by a balance between increased arousal (desire for engagement and complexity) and decreased tension (desire for relaxation or refreshment). Installations of these composite mid-high complexity ‘global-forest’ patterns consisting of ‘tree-seed’ components balance these contrasting needs, and can serve as a practical implementation of biophilic patterns in human-made environments to promote occupant wellbeing.
... Taylor measured the stress response of the participants by measuring the electrical resistance of the skin of the participants. He concluded, based on his measurements made on participants, that the stress response of the participants was reduced by certain fractals with a fractal dimension between 3 and 3.5 (Eglash, 1999;Taylor, 2006). Olga Mitina, a Russian scientist, executed a study with 140 participants in two groups only differing in the time durations of the fractals that were presented. ...
... Besides curvilinearity, another characteristic that biophilic shapes may present is fractality: "ordered details arranged in a nested scaling hierarchy" (Salingaros and Masden, 2008). According to Taylor (2006), fractal shapes, whether those of natural elements, abstract paintings, or architecture, may reduce physiological stress. The three levels of the biophilic shapes in the present study relate to the varying degree of presence of the built elements with these specific characteristics. ...
Article
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The interactive role of the ecological, architectural, biophilic, and sensory qualities of outdoor and indoor spaces in the restorative experiences of urban inhabitants is little known. We analyzed the restorative influence on mood states and situational stress related to exposure to vegetation proportion, spatial extension, landmark salience, biophilic architecture, people density, street visual access, olfactory pleasantness, and noise of 65 public spaces in a Mexican city. The environmental qualities of these places were analyzed with multidimensional scaling (MDS), leading to eight space categories (e.g., historic squares with biophilic architecture, large parks, street scenes, and interiors with non-biophilic architecture). Ratings of the restorative potential, mood states, situational stress, olfactory pleasantness, and noise annoyance were evaluated on such places and modeled through a structural equation modeling (SEM). The model shows that the restorative influence of the environmental qualities on moods and stress was related to a decrease in experiences of negative moods and perceived stress, and an increase of positive mood states. Based on our findings, we discuss design guidelines, emphasizing the relevance of including vegetation and built elements with biophilic qualities to create restorative environments.
Preprint
Nature has numerous beneficial effects on human health. Even watching nature compared to urban images, which are known to differ in several image properties that were processed at early stages, can improve mood, perceived restoration, and cognitive function, suggesting that the visual input alone evokes these effects. Furthermore, nature images – compared to urban ones – are implicitly and explicitly associated with positive valence. To study automatic bottom-up processes and the role of lower-level visual processing involved in the beneficial effects of nature, we investigated implicit associations in a dichotomous set of nature and urban images in three domains, namely valence, mood, and stress restoration. To examine the role of lower-level processing on these associations, we analysed nature and urban images for several properties and created stimuli that lacked the spatial information but retained certain image properties of the original photographs (i.e., phase-scrambled images). While original nature images were associated with good, positive mood, and restoration, urban images were associated with bad and stress. The studies also showed that image properties differ between our nature and urban images, and that they contribute to the implicit associations with valence. However, image properties and lower-level processing seem to play no or only minor roles for associations with mood and stress restoration.
Chapter
The study aims to guide the assisted living facility (ALF) design, in which biophilic design, which is observed to have positive physiological, psychological, and sociological effects on humans, is observed, and the principle of universal design is accessible and designed for everyone. Since there is no place called a biophilic ALF, the study is supported by a nature-oriented design method called Green Building Rating Tools. Green building certificate systems are explored in terms of biophilic and universal design, and three of the certifications show credits linked to the theories researched. With these certificates, green building certified ALFs located in the same region are selected. With the methodology applied on the case studies of three ALFs that received these certificates, how and where biophilic and universal design patterns can be transferred from theory to practice has been examined. The study observed the extent of 14 biophilic design patterns in ALFs and tabulated how to find each pattern in these facilities according to the methods and places.
Article
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Beauty connects us viscerally to the material universe. Life forms evolved to experience biological connectedness as an absolute necessity for survival. Starting one century ago, however, dominant culture deliberately reversed the mechanism responsible for visceral connection. The resulting disconnection from the material world will continue to have long-lasting negative consequences for human well-being. Christopher Alexander describes how to revive the visceral connecting process, creating conditions for human-centered design in our times. Biological connectedness arises from an organic projection of the designer’s “self” onto the material reality of the object being designed, and to its physical context. Exploring multiple scenarios using informational feedback avoids letting the designer’s ego or imposed images exert a controlling influence. Implementing Alexander’s connecting method could revolutionize design, with the potential to produce a new, nourishing art and architecture. Recent developments in biophilia and neuro-design help to better understand Alexander’s ideas, using results not available at the time he was developing his theory.
Article
Nowadays, the topic of restorative experience in built environments has attracted more attention because of the increasing stress levels in modern society. Researchers have sought to identify the architectural features that influence a person's perceived restorative experience to achieve human-centered architectural designs. However, the relevant design knowledge is unsystematically scattered, making it difficult for designers to interpret information and make informed decisions in practice. This paper explores the feasibility of machine learning in capturing the restorative quality of design alternatives, thereby providing decision support for proactive architectural design analysis. To deal with feature selection and the uncertainty associated with affective modeling, a framework is introduced that integrates design of experiments and machine learning methods. The human restorative experience is assessed within non-immersive VR environments using self-reported psychometric scales. Consequently, general regression neural network is revealed as superior to other machine learning methods in forecasting the restorative experience.
Article
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This paper is intended to defend living structure as a physical phenomenon, and a mathematical concept, clarifying some common questions and misgivings surrounding Alexander's design thoughts, such as the objective or structural nature of beauty, building styles advocated by Alexander, and mysterious nature of his concepts. This paper helps people understand why beautiful things are beautiful, and why ugly things are ugly, through the underlying living structure. Living structure is to beauty what temperature is to warmness. Readers may recall that we published the down to earth part of the paper in March issue. Here we present the up to heaven and concluding part of the paper
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The birth of Gothic, one of the great triumphs of human spiritual and artistic expression, would appear to be a topic remote from the enterprise of contemporary neurobiology. The intent of this brief essay is to explore the possibility that this singular architectural movement may have important implications for understanding the nonlinear dynamics of the brain. We explore the hypothesis that the Gothic cathedral, with its porous, scale-free structures, may represent an externalization of the fractal properties of our physiology in general, and of our neural architectures and neuro-dynamics, in particular.
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The dry landscape garden at Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto, Japan, a UNESCO world heritage site, intrigues hundreds of thousands of visitors every year with its abstract, sparse and seemingly random composition of rocks and moss on an otherwise empty rectangle of raked gravel. Here we apply a model of shape analysis in early visual processing to show that the 'empty' space of the garden is implicitly structured and critically aligned with the temple's architecture. We propose that this invisible design creates the visual appeal of the garden and was probably intended as an inherent feature of the composition.
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Converging lines of research suggest a deep linkage between cognitive and emotional processes and settings displaying a rich visual fractal structuring in the 1.3?1.5 dimensional range. Reanalysis of a previous empirical study on interior design inducing reduction of performance stress from knowledge work suggests that this fractal dimensionality of a cabin panel surface pattern was the key environmental modification affecting subjects. in natural environments, fractal dimensionality in this range is most often associated with sinuous watercourses, undulating horizon lines and branching tree structures, all of which had high survival value for human ancestors in our evolutionary history. Other empirical research indicates that cognitive performance associated with visual search and access to working memory can be improved by inducing a ?convergence to pattern? of fractal environmental structure and the neural processes to which it seems particularly attuned. These in turn imply significant fractal design enhancements for work settings which are either semi-isolated and/or confined for technology/health/security reasons, or habitats in remote and harsh environments.
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Between 1943 and 1952, Jackson Pollock created patterns by dripping paint onto horizontal canvases. In 1999 the authors identified the patterns as fractal. Ending 50 years of debate over the content of his paintings, the results raised the more general question of how a human being could create fractals. The authors, by analyzing film that recorded the evolution of Pollock's patterns as a function of time, show that the fractals resulted from a systematic construction process involving multiple layers of painted patterns. These results are interpreted within the context of recent visual perception studies of fractal patterns.
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Ofer BihamDaniel LidarOfer Malcai After fractals were first described in the 1970s, experimental researchers embraced them as a way to describe complex structures in nature. But is the world properly described by fractals? In their commentary, Avnir et al. describe how they surveyed the physics literature for objects that were declared to be fractal. They found that most of these declarations were made on the basis of very limited ranges of data. Nonetheless, the fractal concept may still have some value if the limitations are kept in mind.
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Appreciation of art is a highly subjective and personal judgment. This chapter takes a look at the appreciation of Pollock's painting through different perspectives, including those of science and art. People observe many different parameters of the painting (for example, the size, shape, texture and color) at the same time, capturing the "full impact" of the painting. In contrast, the computer's approach is reductionist-it separates information, calculating each parameter in isolation. This chapter discusses the analysis techniques used to identify the fractal fingerprint of Pollock's work. The chapter also presents an analysis of film sequences which recorded the evolution of his patterns during the painting process and discusses the results within the context of recent visual perception studies of fractal patterns. Whereas these results explore the generation process in the hope of learning more about the "content" of Pollock's fractals, there is a second recent development that concentrates on the precision with which the "form" of Pollock's fractals can be identified. Most examples of "fractal art" are not painted by the artist but instead are generated indirectly using computer graphics. Since its discovery, chaos theory has experienced spectacular success in explaining many of Nature's processes.
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We have identified a class of stimuli which seem to tap into the basic human ability to identify and name shapes. Using computer-generated stimuli, we found that patterns with low fractal dimension contours evoked the perception of namable objects, and that this proportion is increased when a preattentive criterion for examining the patterns is used. Furthermore, this result holds whether the patterns are filled in shapes (e.g., cloud patterns) or simple edge contours.© (1990) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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Scientific objectivity proves to be an essential tool for determining the fundamental content of the abstract paintings produced by Jackson Pollock in the late 1940s. Pollock dripped paint from a can onto vast canvases rolled out across the floor of his barn. Although this unorthodox technique has been recognized as a crucial advancement in the evolution of modern art, the precise quality and significance of the patterns created are controversial. Here we describe an analysis of Pollock's patterns which shows, first, that they are fractal
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Many objects in images of natural scenes are so complex and erratic, that describing them by the familiar models of classical geometry is inadequate. In this paper, we exploit the power of fractal geometry to generate global characteristics of natural scenes. In particular we are concerned with the following two questions: 1) Can we develop a measure which can distinguish between different global backgrounds (e.g., mountains and trees)? and 2) Can we develop a measure that is sensitive to change in distance (or scale)? We present a model based on fractional Brownian motion which will allow us to recover two characteristics related to the fractal dimension from silhouettes. The first characteristic is an estimate of the fractal dimension based on a least squares linear fit. We show that this feature is stable under a variety of real image conditions and use it to distinguish silhouettes of trees from silhouettes of mountains. Next we introduce a new theoretical concept called the average Holder constant and relate it mathematically to the fractal dimension. It is shown that this measurement is sensitive to scale in a predictable manner, and hence, provides the potential for use as a range indicator. Corroborating experimental results are presented.
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"...a blend of erudition (fascinating and sometimes obscure historical minutiae abound), popularization (mathematical rigor is relegated to appendices) and exposition (the reader need have little knowledge of the fields involved) ...and the illustrations include many superb examples of computer graphics that are works of art in their own right." Nature
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Most natural images, although apparently diverse, have surprisingly regular 1/fβ Fourier amplitude spectra (average β: 1.05–1.20). If the visual system evolved and develops in this spectral environment, is there a sense in which human vision displays commensurate fractal properties? Correlation analysis was applied to human spatial frequency contrast sensitivity. Adults — but not infants — show power law correlational structure consistent with a β of 1.09–1.20 (closely matched to that of natural images). This result provides insights into multi-scale spatial frequency processing in human vision and provides a basis for understanding perceptual phenomena like contrast control and motion deblurring.
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The aim of this study was to explore the suggestion that fractal characteristics may play a role in aesthetic experiences by providing possible empirical evidence for connections between landscape preference and fractal properties. This approach was motivated by the knowledge that many natural forms are fractal and that, in preference research, naturalness has been found an important predictor. For reasons described in the paper, in this study we chose to focus on landscape silhouette outlines. The results indicate that there is a relationship between preference and the fractal dimension, which in turn gives rise to the hypothesis that the fractal dimension could provide part of the explanation to the well-documented connection between preference and naturalness.
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Since their discovery by Mandelbrot (The Fractal Geometry of Nature, Freeman, New York, 1977), fractals have experienced considerable success in quantifying the complex structure exhibited by many natural patterns and have captured the imaginations of scientists and artists alike. With ever-widening appeal, they have been referred to both as “fingerprints of nature” (Nature 399 (1999) 422) and “the new aesthetics” (J. Hum. Psychol. 41 (2001) 59). Here, we show that humans display a consistent aesthetic preference across fractal images, regardless of whether these images are generated by nature's processes, by mathematics, or by the human hand.
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A pair of coupled quadratic difference equations with randomly chosen coefficients is repeatedly iterated by computer to produce a two-dimensional map. The map is tested for stability and sensitivity to initial conditions. The process is repeated until a chaotic solution is found. In this way a computer can generate a large collection of strange attractors that are all different, and most of which have considerable aesthetic appeal. A simple computer program and examples of its output are provided. Many of the attractors have been systematically evaluated for visual appeal, and a correlation is found with the Lyapunov exponent and correlation dimension.
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na broad sense Design Science is the grammar of a language of images Irather than of words. Modern communication techniques enable us to transmit and reconstitute images without needing to know a specific verbal sequence language such as the Morse code or Hungarian. International traffic signs use international image symbols which are not specific to any particular verbal language. An image language differs from a verbal one in that the latter uses a linear string of symbols, whereas the former is multi­ dimensional. Architectural renderings commonly show projections onto three mutual­ ly perpendicular planes, or consist of cross sections at different altitudes capa­ ble of being stacked and representing different floor plans. Such renderings make it difficult to imagine buildings comprising ramps and other features which disguise the separation between floors, and consequently limit the cre­ ative process of the architect. Analogously, we tend to analyze natural struc­ tures as if nature had used similar stacked renderings, rather than, for instance, a system of packed spheres, with the result that we fail to perceive the system of organization determining the form of such structures. Perception is a complex process. Our senses record; they are analogous to audio or video devices. We cannot, however, claim that such devices perceive.
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Human artifacts, ranging from small objects all the way up to large buildings and cities, display a variety and range of subdivisions. Repeating structural and design elements of the same size will define a particular scale. Most pleasing designs obey an inverse power-law distribution: the product of the relative multiplicity p of a substructure with an algebraic power of its size x is a constant, px<sup> </sup> = constant, which is derived here from basic principles. This means that the logarithmic plot of p versus x has a slope of - , where typically 1<= <=2, and this is a widely observed relationship in both the natural and the social sciences. Departures from this rule apparently result in incoherent, alien structures. Three applications to urban systems are proposed. It is argued that in living cities (1) the distribution of path lengths, (2) the allocation of project funding, and (3) the distribution of built elements all follow the derived multiplicity rule. By violating all three, modernist cities create inhuman urban environments.
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Research on eye movements and scene perception is reviewed. Following an initial discussion of some basic facts about eye movements and perception, the following topics are discussed: (I) the span of effective vision during scene perception, (2) the role of eye movements in scene perception, (3) integration of information across saccades, (4) scene context, object identification and eye movements, and (5) the control of eye movements. The relationship of eye movements during reading to eye movements during scene perception is considered. A preliminary model of eye movement control in scene perception is described and directions for future research are suggested.
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A number of researchers have suggested that in order to understand the response properties of cells in the visual pathway, we must consider the statistical structure of the natural environment. In this paper, we focus on one aspect of that structure, namely, the correlational structure which is described by the amplitude or power spectra of natural scenes. We propose that the principle insight one gains from considering the image spectra is in understanding the relative sensitivity of cells tuned to different spatial frequencies. This study employs a model in which the peak sensitivity is constant as a function of frequency with linear bandwith increasing (i.e., approximately constant in octaves). In such a model, the "response magnitude" (i.e., vector length) of cells increases as a function of their optimal (or central) spatial frequency out to about 20 cyc/deg. The result is a code in which the response to natural scenes, whose amplitude spectra typically fall as 1/f, is roughly constant out to 20 cyc/deg. An important consideration in evaluating this model of sensitivity is the fact that natural scenes show considerable variability in their amplitude spectra, with individual scenes showing falloffs which are often steeper or shallower than 1/f. Using a new measure of image structure (the "rectified contrast spectrum" or "RCS") on a set of calibrated natural images, it is shown that a large part of the variability in the spectra is due to differences in the sparseness of local structure at different scales. That is, an image which is "in focus" will have structure (e.g., edges) which has roughly the same magnitude across scale. That is, the loss of high frequency energy in some images is due to the reduction of the number of regions that contain structure rather than the amplitude of that structure. An "in focus" image will have structure (e.g., edges) across scale that have roughly equal magnitude but may vary in the area covered by structure. The slope of the RCS was found to provide a reasonable prediction of physical blur across a variety of scenes in spite of the variability in their amplitude spectra. It was also found to produce a good prediction of perceived blur as judged by human subjects.
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This is an attempt to apply the concepts and techniques of information theory to the problems of visual perception. The informational concept of redundancy comes in for a good deal of attention with regard to the understanding of phenomena of visual perception, and a demonstration of its nature in this area is presented. The analysis employed by the author also permits him to present informational and statistical descriptions of a good many classical concepts from the area of vision, including the historically most important Gestalt perceptual principles.
A computer can be programmed to search through the solution of millions of equations to find a few hundred whose graphical display is aesthetically pleasing to humans. This paper describes some methods for performing such an exhaustive search, criteria for automatically judging aesthetic appeal, and examples of the results.