Article

Human factors in computer simulations of urban environment. Differences between architects and non-architects’ assessments

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Computer visualisations are widely used to evaluate future urban environments in international competitions. Rapid technological progress in graphics computer software has enabled architects and landscape planners to produce sophisticated images that are not only capable of transmitting the characteristics of the future environment, they also manage to evoke in observers the sort of feelings and emotions which can only be aroused by experiencing the space. This present paper attempts to identify the affective responses that influence the evaluation of urban environment proposal, analysing the model of architects and non-architects’s preferences. A sample of 104 architects and 113 non architects expressed their opinions on 48 urban computer simulations. The results show that for both groups the success of a digital visualisation is associated to the feelings of innovation and wellbeing.However, their assessments differ significantly because each group associates these feelings with different aspects. In general, architects are more critical in their assessments.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Interestingly, people outside the planning and architecture industry, in particular, have positive affective responses to urban spaces visualized in renderings (Llinares & Iñarra, 2014), at least in comparison to more abstract forms of visualization (Woodcock et al., 2012), even if they cannot afford to live in the proposed, often very exclusive locations (see Hendawy & Stollmann, 2020, p. 55). One of the reasons given is that photorealism has become increasingly refined in digital image production (see Schillaci et al., 2009), which now makes it possible to create very realistic and authentic atmospheres. ...
Article
Full-text available
Renderings are digital visualisations of urban development projects in the field of urban design that aim to create spatial knowledge about future-built urban environments, which we also refer to as imaginaries. In our contribution, we ask how visual artists design renderings, how they try to influence spatial knowledge about future urban spaces, and in which processes renderings are produced. Using the cases of the Eko Atlantic City project in Lagos (Nigeria) and the Hudson Yards project in New York City (USA) as examples, it will be shown empirically how specialized visual artists try to make urban development projects appear convincing and appealing. The analyses show that visual artists particularly use design elements such as photorealistic aesthetics and lighting to make the presentations of the planned building projects desirable. They also attempt to make them appear coherent in their built environment by digitally collaging different imaginary elements. Interestingly, only a limited number of image types are used. They can nevertheless put the imaginary space of the planned building projects in a positive light, create pleasant affective atmospheres, and appeal to a wide audience. By visually constructing imaginaries about urban development projects and thus influencing the subjective spatial knowledge of stakeholders and a broader public, renderings develop power. The constructed—and widely shared—imaginary space can guide investment and influence planning processes and the materialization of the built project.
... Such factors should be taken carefully into account in the use of any simulation system set-up for Architecture. However, although some possible effects of the use of HMDs have been extensively treated in the literature [7], other cultural issues, such as the geographic-cultural context have received less attention. Specifically, the present study focuses on the effects of this factor relative to the perception of architectural plans when using new and traditional simulation system setups. ...
Conference Paper
Environmental simulations through rendering has an important role to play in the design process of and communication regarding the built environment. Technological advances allow for widely used printed renders with 360° panoramic representations to be displayed through head-mounted devices (HMD). However, the adoption of this technology should be done with caution, due to the possible effects of the user’s context relative to his or her expertise and geographic–cultural level. This study compared printed and 360° HMD-render setup capacities for experts and nonexperts in Architecture, from different geographic–cultural contexts of Mexico and Spain. To tackle this, a broad spectrum of 15 components addressing aspects of utility, spatial representation, and the emotional and general capabilities of environmental simulations were assessed using bipolar scales by a total of 120 participants. Analyses showed differences in all aspects for all contexts of the study. The greatest differences were general, with non-experts of an indistinct geographic–cultural context showing the least perception of the capabilities. This indicates a strong conditioning, generated by experience acquired in different geographical–cultural contexts, supporting the idea of incorporating context–aware reasoning into the representation of novel rendering. Hence, our results will have interest for both professionals and instructors.
... Kansei engineering uses differential semantics to measure the perceptual space (osgood et al. 1957). this technique is one of the most commonly used methods for assessing product perception (Jindo et al. 1995;Matsubara and nagamachi 1997;petiot and Yannou 2004;llinares andpage 2007, 2011). Having obtained users' affective dimensions, the next phase involves indentifying what design elements cause them. ...
Article
Full-text available
Currently many real estate developers offer their products through their websites. The aim of this medium is not only to facilitate understanding of the building, but also to capture the attention of potential customers, provoking feelings and emotions that influence the purchase decision, especially in the case of off-plan property sales. Understanding the cognitive factors behind customers' evaluation processes prior to a purchase is of great interest for defining successful design criteria. The interior space of the property is one of the most important aspect in users' purchase decisions. The paper aims to determine which property design elements in floor plans provoke the emotions users use to describe its interior design. A field study was carried out on a sample of 75 individuals who evaluated a set of images of real estate promotions. The results show that the landings and corridors are fundamental; the area must be spacious so that larger surface areas score best; the living room must be well differentiated from the bedrooms; the valuation of the space depends on the graphic form of presentation, the use of warm colours and the degree of detail in the plans has a positive influence on the assessment. This information may be of great interest for architects and designers in the graphic representation of the space.
... The main advantage of VR is that enables the replication of the space to be evaluated with a great degree of realism, allowing us to alter the design elements as well as those ones of sensory experience in a controlled way through specific characteristics or variables. New developments in computer design make it possible to produce sophisticated images which not only are capable of transmitting the characteristics of a future space, but they also evoke in the observers feelings and emotions which may be provoked by the space [9]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Human behavior is analyzed to evaluate the functionality and efficiency of a public space. It was classically measured from surveys and observation, however, those measurements have some limitations. Firstly, they are subjective valuations and are influenced by the interviewer and/or the observer. In addition, the observation oblige us to make that evaluation subsequently, when the project has been executed. Nowadays, virtual reality resolves those problems as a result of its capacity to represent scenarios on a realistic, immersive and interactive way. It allows to analyze human behaviour before the execution of projects at a low cost and controlled way. This article presents the methodological bases for a new platform for measuring human behaviour in virtual environments. It will assist in the decision-making process through the pre-evaluation of different spaces before being executed. An applicable methodology were explained from which metrics are created and it allows to optimize functionality and efficiency of a new construction or remodeling. This is a cross-wise platform and can be applied to any project where the human transit is a central element: commercial, cultural, dotacional or leisure spaces. Different applied examples in study were presented.
... size or color). CGI hotel rooms maintain a high level of realism, consistency and visual attractiveness (Llinares and Iñarra, 2014). ...
Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate what people with different demographic characteristics such as age and gender expect from hotel room design and examine how design preferences affect purchase intent and desire to stay and word-of-mouth behavior. Design/methodology/approach The study was based on a quasi-experimental design conducted on 762 participants. The manipulations of room color and design style were prepared using the 3D modeling software, while age and gender were self-reported variables. Findings The results indicated that age and gender moderate the relationship between hotel guest satisfaction and room design style. Younger guests prefer contemporary design style, while older guests show equal satisfaction with traditional and contemporary styles. Male guests prefer rooms decorated in masculine colors, while women are equally satisfied with masculine or feminine color schemes. Research limitations/implications This study was conducted as a hypothetical, computer-aided experimental scenario. A field experiment captured guests’ satisfaction with an experimental hotel room. A substantive cause–effect relationship between hotel room visual servicescape stimuli and satisfaction was established. Practical implications Identifying design style and color preferences of a hotel target market is paramount for investment payoff and further supports the customization of hotel services. Originality/value This is the first experimental study to manipulate color scheme and type of design in a hotel room and capture their effects on satisfaction and behavior of guests with different demographic characteristics.
... Therefore, the third hypothesis of this research has been partially supported. According to the literature (Hershberger and Cass, 1974;Groat, 1982;Devlin and Nasar, 1989;Nasar, 1989;Devlin, 1990;Wilson and Canter, 1990;Stamps, 1991;Hubbard, 1994;Purcell, 1995;Wilson, 1996;Imamoğlu, 2000;Gifford et al., 2000Gifford et al., , 2002Gifford et al., 2000;Akalın et al. 2009;Llinares et al., 2011;Malekinezhad et al., 2013;Ghomeishi and Jusan, 2013;Boumová and Zdráhalová, 2016;Arslan et al., 2018;Llinares and Iñarra, 2014;Ilbeigi et al., 2019) there is a common consensus on architects have the lowest perceptional evaluation for dependent variables. In this study, special attention was paid to the fact that the participants had not experienced to the streets where Afyonkarahisar houses were built on. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This study aimed to make a comparative evaluation of the differences between the original façade (original) and the modified façade of the traditional Turkish Houses (collected from Afyonkarahisar city) based on perception. Design/Methodology/Approach In line with this purpose, digital images of eight sets of original and modified street silhouettes with gray color scales have been produced on the computer. Two different groups consisting of 80 people (architect and non-architect group) have evaluated the prepared images by the semantic differentiation scale consisting of the adjective pairs. The main hypothesis of the study is "The original façade would be more preferred than the modified façade". Also, gender, architect and non-architect group comparisons were made in the evaluations, too. Findings The results have shown that the participants liked the original traditional Turkish House façade more. The tidy/untidy and proportional/non-proportional adjective pairs have had the biggest difference in this evaluation. In another result, male participants have evaluated the traditional Turkish House façade views liked more for all dependent variables except for familiar / unfamiliar and qualified / unqualified adjective pairs compared to female participants. In addition, non-architects have liked more than architects the façade views of traditional Turkish Houses for adjective pairs that are beautiful / ugly, not impressive / unimpressive and interesting / uninteresting. On the other hand the architects have liked more than non-architects the façade view of traditional Turkish Houses for the proportional / non-proportional adjective pair. Research Limitations/Implications This study has been conducted only for Turkish Houses collected from Afyonkarahisar city. In addition, only architects and non-architects group attended for evaluation of the surveys. Social/Practical Implications According to the most important finding obtained from the study, the fact that the original state is observed in the restoration of traditional Turkish Houses has caused people liked it more. Similarly, it has been observed that the organization of windows, solid-void relationship ratio, repetitions, horizontal and vertical structural elements (beams etc.) in the Turkish house façade characteristic will have a positive effect on perception. Originality/Value With this study, for the first time in the literature, the evaluation of holistic (comprehensive) street silhouettes was made based on a single façade layout.
... Thus what is innovative or evokes well-being in one group is not so in the other group. In general, architects are more critical in their assessments (Llinares and Iñarra, 2014). These results provide evidence that it is necessary for the student of architecture, in the process of the conception of the project besides the formal conditions and aesthetics, to also take into account the emotions that their project will promote in the future user of the space. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
3D images or architectural renders are expressive tools widely used by architectural students to communicate their projects. Not only do these images have the task of transmitting the formal and functional characteristics of the project, but also need to evoke in users the sort of feelings and emotions which can only be aroused by experiencing the architecture. An experiment we undertook enabled us to find that these emotions can be quantified and may relate to the design parameters of the image, moreover there are also substantial differences in the valuation between architects and non-architects. Thus, the aim of this paper is to incorporate the results of our research on the learning of this graphical tool into the learning of architecture. Therefore we have established a teaching methodology in which the images are not only employed to show the final result of design, but are also incorporated into the creative process to investigate emotional and aesthetic responses of the user of the designed space. http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/HEAd15.2015.392
... According to Mehrabian and Russell (1974), emotions can be considered as an essential 112 factor in assessing the aesthetics of a facade. In addition, urban structures were evaluated by 113 designers, and non-designers and results showed different preferences (Malekinezhad, Chizari 114 and Hasanuddin bin Lamit, 2013;Llinares & Iñarra, 2014;Llinares et al., 2011). Considering properties, many researchers have evaluated the correlation between complexity and the degree 119 of attraction or pleasure of a design (Bornstein & Berlyne, 2006;Herzog & Shier, 2000;120 Imamoglu, 2000;Stamps, 2003). ...
Article
The aim of this study is to define aesthetic differences between architects’ and non-architects’ perspectives by considering the cognitive properties of residential buildings’ facades located in Iran. Accordingly, in order to observe perceptional similarities and differences between designers and users, the aesthetics of residential facades is investigated in Tehran, Iran, through a comprehensive case study. A quantitative method was used in the form of a questionnaire, and the corresponding data is further analyzed by SPSS software. Although architects’ and non-architects’ perspectives are somewhat similar in selecting and evaluating the chosen facade, corresponding findings reveal significant differences as well. The results further show that the classic architectural style was not appealing for the architects. Moreover, non-architects and architects think that ‘uniqueness’ is the most effective parameter; while architects believe that ‘pleasantness’ has the highest influence among the presumed six parameters in selecting the best facade. Furthermore, the outcomes indicate that the studied groups have some conflicting viewpoints about aesthetics, while there would be some similarities about the unfavorable facades. In this regard, the non-architects’ standpoints, preferences, and satisfaction should be assumed during the design procedure. This research can open a new perspective on the architect’s perception in the early design stage.
... All of these techniques are also conditioned to the theme of culture and use, which is why the implementation of any type of simulation system should be carefully considered through the practice of space and element perception. This initiative is based on the fact that the use of technology for the purpose of visualiation may be subject to the expertise of both designers and users, so care must be taken to develop valid proposals (Llinares and Iñarra 2014). With regard to the adoption of virtual reality technology and visualisation, the current trend suggests that a common language is needed, that the technologies are intuitive and that such adoption primarily occurs naturally (Chang and Huang 2014). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The use of VR technology within education is an area that has generated great interest in recent years, so this work follows that trend and contains nuances related to user-centred design education. The objective of this work is to identify students' perceptions of the use of VR technology for ethnographic research. A group of 20 industrial design students from Tecnologico de Monterrey conducted a field investigation, which included interviews and surveys, using HMD with videos and stereoscopic images of a public park in Monterrey, Mexico. Based on the research and information analysis, areas of opportunity were identified and urban furniture proposals for the public park that place were generated. Once the design process was completed, an evaluation instrument was applied to measure, through statistical analysis, the students' perceptions of their experience using technology in the design process; gender, qualification obtained and the relevance of the technology used was also considered.
... Thus what is innovative or evokes well-being in one group is not so in the other group. In general, architects are more critical in their assessments (Llinares and Iñarra, 2014). These results provide evidence that it is necessary for the student of architecture, in the process of the conception of the project besides the formal conditions and aesthetics, to also take into account the emotions that their project will promote in the future user of the space. ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Globally the higher education community continues to explore curriculum delivery models which connect theory to practice to support the transfer of learning from the classroom to operational practice. Police recruit education is no exception and utilises a myriad of curriculum design and delivery models. Since 1998 the New South Wales Police Force in Australia has worked in partnership with Charles Sturt University on a degree based recruit education program. Continuous improvement and evaluation of the program has resulted in the implementation of an innovative curriculum design and delivery approach which challenges the traditional university subject learning process. This paper discusses the innovative model which is built on (1) the concept of situated learning and (2) the constructive alignment approach to teaching and learning. The learning delivery design is supported by a unique distributed content technology environment. The model and the initial results of its evaluation are presented. The initial findings suggest an increase in the level of preparedness of the student recruit for operational practice. The approach offers a contribution to higher education course development in which a central tenant is establishing a seamless segue from student to professional.
Article
Speech- and gesture-based interfaces for computer-aided design (CAD) modeling must employ vocabulary suitable for target professional groups. We conducted an experiment with 40 participants from architecture and engineering backgrounds to elicit their speech preferences for four CAD manipulation tasks: Scale, Rotate, Copy, and Move. We compiled speech command terms used by participants and analyzed verbalizations based on three analytic themes: the exactness of descriptions, the granularity of descriptions, and the use of CAD legacy terms. We found that participants from both groups used precise and vague expressions in their verbalizations and used a median of three parameters in their verbalizations. Architects used CAD legacy terms more than Engineers in the tasks Scale and Rotate. Based on these findings, we give recommendations for the design of speech- and gesture-based interface for conceptual CAD modeling.
Chapter
As the process of globalization continues to develop, Chinese society has gradually evolved from mechanization to digitalization. The development of the city is also undergoing continuous changes. Future cities will be based on R&D, marketing and finance, and will require more frequent interpersonal and face-to-face communication. Cities, especially urban centers, should be a gathering place for young people. So, a “shared community” should be built. The “shared community” has the following characteristics: environmentally friendly materials, efficient modules, and symbiotic models. In the same community, the pattern of parallel living should be abandoned. Based on the organizational compatibility of residents and true spatial sharing, a green symbiotic community can be created using a sustainable symbiosis model.
Article
The graphic tools most widely used for communicating the design of future urban spaces are 3D visualizations. These virtual images allow graphic designers to manipulate conditions to embellish the final image they present. But, what design attributes are associated with positive assessments? This paper attempts to identify the key design attributes for a successful proposal and observes whether intention (assess the image versus assess the project) and observer training (architect versus non-architect) influence that relationship. A field study was carried out using assessments from 225 individuals. Results show that color, nature, and architecture are fundamental elements in successful proposals. Significant differences in assessments have also been observed according to the training and intentions of the assessors.
Article
Previous studies have recognized that the quality of physical environment influences customers’ satisfaction and positive behavioral outcome. A limited number of studies have incorporated an extensive range of hotel guestroom servicescape attributes into their instruments. The purpose of this study is to examine the multidimensional role of perceived servicescape of computer-generated images (CGI) of hotel rooms that are displayed on hotel websites. This study has two objectives: (a) To develop an instrument that comprehensively measures multidimensional perceived servicescape quality of a 3-D CGI depiction of hotel guestrooms; (b) To measure the effect of different 3-D CGI servicescape dimensions on expected guestroom satisfaction and behavioral intentions. Guestroom aesthetics, layout, light, and furniture quality were identified as factors of the LODGSCAPE instrument. Two factors, aesthetics and layout had significant effects on customer satisfaction. The results suggest that hotel management should emphasize guestroom aesthetics at the expense of lighting and furniture quality.
Article
Full-text available
Window display of retail shops plays a significant role in attracting customers to visit and even to purchase products from the store. Therefore, the study aims to examine what kinds of perception influenced by a window display of Thai craft products and, in turns, affect purchasing intention. To investigate this relationship, 150 tourists around the world were recruited by using voluntarily online-survey. A set of perception was applied by using multiple regressions to examine the relationship between the perception and purchasing intention. The results found that only aesthetic and Thai unique culture are two significant factors that influence purchasing intention.
Article
Acoustic perception in concert halls has been a topic of research of great interest over the last century. It has been studied through physical and subjective parameters. Nevertheless, a concert in an auditorium is a multi-sensorial experience; so that the acoustic perception may be influenced by other non-acoustical attributes. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to analyze whether architectural variables (visual component) affect acoustic perception in concert halls and quantify this influence. This analysis was carried out implementing the Semantic Differential method and differentiating among experts and non-experts users. A total of 310 subjects assessed in situ 17 concert halls. Results showed that acoustic perception was influenced by the visual component, and acoustic parameters had an influence on architecture as well. However, when separating both groups, it was found that experts were able to isolate acoustic variables from architecture when evaluating the sound quality of a venue.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
La presente investigación consiste en el uso de Realidad Virtual como elemento didáctico (Baeten, Kyndt, Struyven y Dochy, 2010) para identificar aspectos de usabilidad (Jordan, 1998) en espacios urbanos, con la idea de que permitan generar propuestas de mejora del mobiliario y la experiencia de uso, considerando diferentes momentos del día y estados del tiempo. Para iniciar el proceso, se hizo el análisis de un espacio urbano determinado, a partir de fotografías y videos de 360°, empleando visores de realidad virtual y teléfonos celulares. El espacio urbano seleccionado fue un “Parque de Bolsillo” (pocket park) del proyecto Distrito Tec, de la ciudad de Monterrey, México. Con las fotografías y videos de 360°, se buscó determinar las áreas de oportunidad que podían surgir para mejorar la experiencia de uso y la interacción con el mobiliario urbano (Norman, 2011), en diferentes momentos del día y con diferentes estados del tiempo (nublado, soleado, lluvioso, etc.), permitiendo una apreciación de los cambios que puede sufrir la experiencia de uso según las diferentes condiciones ambientales y hora del día. La investigación se hizo con un grupo de 21 estudiantes de la materia Diseño Centrado en el Usuario (Norman, 2011) de la Licenciatura en Diseño Industrial del Tecnológico de Monterrey. Para la construcción de los instrumentos (entrevistas y encuestas) utilizaron el Modelo Circumplejo (Higuera-Trujillo, Rojas, Pérez, y Abad, 2017; Russell, 1979). Para analizar los datos obtenidos se utilizó un proceso de codificación abierta (Strauss y Corbin, 2002) que permitió establecer patrones y pasar a una codificación selectiva (Hernandez, Fernandez y Baptista, 2010) para finalmente determinar requerimientos de diseño y algunas especificaciones (Ulrich y Eppinger, 2013).
Article
Full-text available
The article reports on a survey of visual preferences for suburban office buildings. The participants comprised members of the professions involved in the speculative development of these buildings and building users. The survey method used paired comparisons of photographs representing eight different design types for suburban office buildings. The data were processed using a form of conjoint analysis. Differences in the preferences of architects and users were revealed, confirming previous surveys. Analysis of the preferences showed a different weighting of design attributes. Despite these differences, a design type could be identified that would combine the preferences of both architects and users. This finding is generalized in the proposal for an “ordered preference model” to generate designs which reconcile the preferences of both architects and laypersons.
Article
Full-text available
The physical and affective bases of the differences between architects’ and laypersons’ aesthetic evaluations of building facades were examined. Fifty-nine objective features of 42 large modern office buildings were related to ratings of the buildings’ emotional impact and global aesthetic quality made by architects and laypersons. Both groups strongly based their global assessments on elicited pleasure (and not on elicited arousal), but the two groups based their emotional assessments on almost entirely different sets of objective building features, which may help to explain why the aesthetic evaluations of architects and lay persons are virtually unrelated.
Article
Full-text available
Because advocacy planning and use of design guidelines are so prevalent, it is becoming important to ascertain how well each method can predict environmental quality. This article describes two experiments, covering 59 respondents and 76 environmental scenes, in which preferences of neighborhood groups and an architect's group were compared to each other, to responses of a random sample of a city's population, and to predictions based on design attributes of entourage, building interest, and building dominance. Results from both studies indicated that the attributes of building interest predicted the most preference variation. These findings suggest that the design guidelines' approach to visual amenity might be more efficacious than the advocacy approach.
Article
Full-text available
Independent groups rated 66 color slides of natural settings for the target variables tranquility and preference and for four descriptor variables. Tranquility and preference ratings were strongly correlated across all settings (r = 0.91). Nevertheless, it was possible to distinguish the two constructs both in terms of mean differences within specific categories of natural settings and in terms of their relationships with descriptor variables. Tranquility was rated higher than preference within the categories of Field-Forest, Large Bodies of Water, and Misty Mountains, while preference was rated higher in the category of Rushing Water. As predicted, ratings of focus (the extent to which the setting contains strong focal points) were more strongly correlated with preference ratings than with tranquility ratings. The same pattern held within all four of seven categories of natural settings in which tranquility and preference were not redundant (r ≤ 0·83). It appears that tranquility and preference are related but discriminable constructs with their discriminability more pronounced in some environmental categories than in others.
Article
Full-text available
Townscape colours have been a main factor in urban development. For townscape colours, keeping colour harmony within the environment is a common goal. Expressing characteristics and impressions of the town in townscape colours are other meaningful goals. The colour planning support system proposed here is intended to improve townscapes. The system offers some colour combination proposals based on three elements: colour harmony, impressions of the townscape, and cost for the change of colours. The objective of the present paper is to construct the colour harmony and Kansei evaluation models that evaluate colour combinations in the colour planning support system. The colour harmony equations by Moon and Spencer are employed for the construction of the colour harmony model. The Kansei model which quantifies the impressions of the townscape, is constructed from the approach of Kansei engineering with neural networks. After the construction, evaluation experiments are conducted for 20 subjects to test the performance of both models. The results of the tests show sufficient correlation between model output and subject response for each model.
Article
Full-text available
Trends in product development today indicate that customers will find it hard to distinguish between many products due to functional equivalency. Customers will, therefore, base their decisions on more subjective factors. Moreover, in the future, products will consist, to a higher grade, of a combination of a tangible and intangible part. Kansei Engineering is a tool translating customer's feelings into concrete product parameters and provides support for future product design. Presently, a total of six different types of Kansei Engineering are in use. The aim of this paper is to propose a framework in Kansei Engineering to facilitate the understanding of the different types of Kansei Engineering and to open Kansei Engineering for the integration of new tools. The new structure includes the choice of a product domain, which can be described from a physical and a semantic perspective as building a vector space in each. For the latter mentioned space, the Semantic Differential Method is used. In the next step, the two spaces are merged and a prediction model is built, connecting the Semantic Space and the Space of Product Properties together. The resulting prediction model has to be validated using different types of post-hoc tests.
Article
Full-text available
Architects and laypersons experience buildings quite differently; this study investigated the physical and cognitive underpinnings of these differences. Laypersons and practicing architects assessed the global. aesthetic quality and six key cognitive properties (complexity, clarity, friendliness, originality, meaningfulness, and ruggedness) of 42 large contemporary buildings, and 59 physical features of each building were independently scored. Lens model analyses revealed how these physical features are interpreted differently by the tvo groups, which apparently leads them to experience different cognitive properties, which in turn leads to different aesthetic conclusions. However, the results also suggest how architects and laypersons might better understand each other.
Article
Full-text available
Kansei engineering is a technology for translating human feelings into product design. Several multivariate analyses are used for analyzing human feelings and building rules. Although these methods are reliable, they require large computing resources. It is difficult for general users to deal with many variables because of small personal computers, and the need for the user to be an expert on statistics. This paper presents an automatic semantic structure analyzer and Kansei expert systems builder using self-organizing neural networks, ART1.5-SSS and PCAnet. ART1.5-SSS is our modified version of ART1.5, a variant of the Adaptive Resonance Theory neural network. It is used as a stable non-hierarchical classifier and a feature extractor, in a small sample size condition. PCAnet performs principal component analysis based on generalized Hebbian algorithm by Sanger (1989). These networks enable quick and automatic rule building in Kansei engineering expert systems. AKSYONN4 system is the automatic builder for Kansei engineering expert systems because it uses self-organizing neural networks. The system enables ‘real-world’ applications of Kansei engineering in product development.Relevance to industryAn automatic analysis of human feelings on products and automatic building of Kansei engineering expert systems can increase the prospects of applying Kansei engineering to acceptable product design. Neural networks-based analysis and automatic expert system building enable the on-site analyzing.
Article
Full-text available
Kansei Engineering was developed as a consumer-oriented technology for new product development. It is defined as “translating technology of a consumer's feeling and image for a product into design elements”. Kansei Engineering (KE) technology is classified into three types, KE Type I, II, and III. KE Type I is a category classification on the new product toward the design elements. Type II utilizes the current computer technologies such as Expert System, Neural Network Model and Genetic Algorithm. Type III is a model using a mathematical structure.Kansei Engineering has permeated Japanese industries, including automotive, electrical appliance, construction, clothing and so forth. The successful companies using Kansei Engineering benefited from good sales regarding the new consumer-oriented products.Relevance to industryKansei Engineering is utilized in the automotive, electrical appliance, construction, clothing and other industries. This paper provides help to potential product designers in these industries.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we propose the new framework of Kansei Engineering System (KES), called Hybrid KES, which can support both consumer and designer as the decision support system (DSS). Kansei Engineering is defined as “translating technology of a consumer's feeling and image for a product into design elements” (Nagamachi, 1989). It is the Kansei Engineering System which we developed to utilize on the product development process using Kansei Engineering techniques. There are two types of KES, one for the consumers decision supporting system called the Forward Kansei Engineering System, and another for the designer supporting system called the Backward Kansei Engineering System. The combined computerized system of the Forward KES and Backward KES must be powerful supporting tools for both users. This paper introduces the structure of the combined system, and proposes the Hybrid KES as the new general framework of Kansei Engineering System. Relevance to industryHybrid KES consists of Forward KES and Backward KES. The former is the KES in which a designer obtains the demanded design through an input of the Kansei word. In the Backward KES, the designer is able to draw a rough sketch in the computer and the computer system recognizes the pattern of the design inputted by the designer. The combined computerized system of the Forward KES and Backward KES must be powerful supporting tools for both consumer and designer.
Article
Full-text available
Independent groups rated 66 color slides of natural settings for the target variables tranquility and preference and for five descriptor variables. There were an equal number of settings from each of three categories: field/forest, deserts, and large waterscapes. Tranquility and preference ratings were substantially and positively correlated in all setting categories. Still, it was possible to distinguish the two constructs. Mean tranquility and preference ratings differed in all three setting categories, with tranquility rated higher in the field/forest and large-waterscapes categories and preference rated higher for deserts. The two target variables also differed in the pattern of their relationships with the descriptor variables. Both mystery and focus tended to be positive predictors of preference but not of tranquility in the field/forest category. Unstructured openness was a negative predictor of preference but not of tranquility in the field/forest category. Surface calmness was a stronger negative predictor of preference than of tranquility for deserts.
Article
Full-text available
In this study, five different sets of single-family house facades from private Suburban cooperative housing developments in Ankara, Turkey,, were analyzed; with each set comprising one example each of minimum and maximum complexity. Although the houses in each set had the same appearance when they were first built, their facades have since been altered by their owners. The main hypothesis of the study was that preference rates would be high for intermediately altered houses by showing the existence of a U-shaped relationship. On the other hand, it was hypothesized that perceived complexity and perceived impressiveness would have a linear relationship, with perceived complexity increasing and perceived impressiveness decreasing as the complexity level changed. In terms of these two basic hypotheses, it Was also assumed that there would lie a difference in the ratings of particular respondent groups with different backgrounds. Thus, a questionnaire was given to 100 undergraduate Students of the Architecture and Engineering Departments of Gazi University, Ankara (41 from architecture and 59 from engineering). These students were asked to rate a total of 15 photographs from five housing sites with the help of five-point semantic differential scales under three headings; namely; Preference: beautiful - ugly, warm - cold, pleasant - unpleasant: Complexity: unimposing - imposing, simple complex: and Impressiveness: impressive - Unimpressive. The results proved the existence of a U-shaped relationship between complexity and preference criteria. That is, facades representing an intermediate level of complexity were favored over less and more complex ones. The facades that seemed the most impressive were the most complex ones, but these, however, were not the most preferred. Amongst these results. it was also noted that the architecture Students replied fit a more critical way than the engineering students as they criticized what they saw as negative design decisions.
Article
In times of economic crisis, scanty resources must be invested in improving attributes that citizens perceive as relevant. In this regard, many studies have analysed the set of attributes in a city that are able to increase citizen satisfaction. These studies consider that the relationship between these variables (attributes-citizens’ response) is linear. Thus urban managers will decide to invest in all attributes with low levels of implementation. However, as theoretical and empirical studies have shown this relationship may be non-linear, so investments may be made in attributes where citizens do not perceive improvements. Kano’s Model provides an effective way of categorising user requirements and helps understand the nature of these requirements considering possible non-linear behaviours. This technique categorises the attributes into three classes depending on their ability to create satisfaction or cause dissatisfaction: exciter, linear and basic. This paper attempts to present a method for defining strategies that improve perception of the city using Kano’s classification. A practical example in the city of Valencia (Spain) is presented. A sample of 153 citizens evaluated different neighbourhoods in the city. The study defines the attributes citizens use to describe neighbourhoods, classifying them according to Kano’s Model, and then defines action strategies. The results show that the relationship between most perception attributes and citizens’ evaluations is asymmetrical and non-linear, and therefore perception analysis models should not be compensatory or linear. These findings demonstrate the need to apply this type of technique because traditional techniques are able to identify linear attributes but not basic and exciter factors.
Article
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the modern architect Le Corbusier's architectural Kansei (sensibility) on wall in site environment through the analysis of his façade design, using Œuvres complètes (1910-1965, 8 vols., Les éditions d'architecture, Artemis, Zurich) and Le Corbusier Archives (1982-1984, 32 vols., Garland Publishing, Inc. and Fondation Le Corbusier, New York, London, Paris). At first, I arrange five façade types, according to the explanation by Le Corbusier ; ‘fenêtre en longueur (strip window)’, ‘pan de verre (glass wall)’, ‘brise-soleil (sun-breaker)’, ‘loggia’ and ‘claustra’. Through the analysis of the relationship between these types and the design process of each building, we find that Le Corbusier's façade design includes the affirmation and the negation of the ‘wall’ at the same time. In fact, the nature of façade modification during design process is divers: increase in transparency, decrease in transparency and spatialization of façade. That means, Le Corbusier studied the environmental condition by these façade types, and tried to realize the phenomenal openness. This trial bases on the function of architectural Kansei as correspondence between body and environment beyond the physical design.
Article
Scenes of the outdoor physical environment vary substantially in the extent to which they are preferred. Variables empirically found to predict preference can be analyzed both in terms of their information-processing implications and in terms of their evolutionary significance. Some of these predictors appear to require fairly extensive information processing, thus supporting the hypothesis that a rapid, unconscious type of cognition may precede certain affective judgments. Such ties between cognition and affect are understandable in the context of the proposed theoretical framework for environmental preference. This framework not only provides a coherent guide to research but also points to the pervasiveness and significance of aesthetics as a factor in human behavior and human experience.
Article
This study is an analysis of the perceptions of experts and non-experts in the building industry concerning a series of real estate promotions in the city of Valencia (Spain). Differential semantics were used to obtain a set of 7 dimensions or affective responses which users employ to assess real estate offerings. Two global evaluations were obtained, differentiating between purchase for residential or investment purposes. The fieldwork was done on a sample of 160 individuals (80 architects and 80 non-architects) who were asked to give their opinion on physical stimuli which included information from real estate promotion advertising brochures. Linear regression was used to estimate 4 predictive models to estimate overall customer assessment of a given offering based on an evaluation of different dimensions or affective responses. The results show different responses in both groups and for the two global assessment variables. Differential semantics appears to be a good instrument for measuring the subjective component of consumers’ emotional states. It is an emotional design technique which provides information on the emotions an object generates by capturing the affective meaning the user attaches to it.
Article
Communication and information are central aspects in participatory spatial planning. This study analyzes the effectiveness of current 3D landscape visualizations in communicating the required spatial information. The focus was on measuring 3D visualizations’ effectiveness in participatory planning processes according to the level of various supporting functions for, for example, information processing or achieving the objectives of different planning phases. The effectiveness of abstract and realistic D visualization types was tested in case studies using qualitative social – empirical research methods. In order to provide a systematic overview of the results, a portfolio analysis was carried out. The benefit of the visualization types for different planning tasks and their quality of representing the required planning content were evaluated. The results show that the different strengths of both abstract and realistic D visualization types are required in participatory workshops. They are especially efficient at motivating stakeholders and enlarging the information base. However, until now they have proved to be less suitable for the development of new ideas and decision making. In particular, the realistic visualization type was ranked as very attractive for the purpose of evaluation, but the representation of the required spatial information needed enhancement. On the basis of the portfolio, focusing further research on optimizing the D visualization types for analysis and evaluation tasks is suggested.
Article
This study explored the relationships between automobile head-up display (HUD) presentation image designs and drivers’ Kansei, using quantitative and qualitative analysis. There were two major stages in this study. The objective of the first stage was to find representative Kansei factors from a large semantic space, using factor analysis and cluster analysis. In the second stage, a prediction model for the relationships between the representative Kansei factors and HUD physical image design properties were created, using Quantification Theory Type 1. Results were discussed based on the whole subject population, age differences, and gender differences, respectively. Finally, two existing HUD presentation images on the market were used to test the validity and feasibility of the prediction model, using a one-sample t-test. The results show that our model can successfully predict drivers’ Kansei for a given HUD presentation image. The results can also be used to customize a HUD presentation image which caters to the drivers’ feelings and emotions.
Article
Given the increasing use of architectural competitions to select an architect for public projects, this paper argues that Preand Post-Jury Evaluations (PJEs) are needed to monitor and improve competition results. For demonstration purposes, we conducted a Post-Jury Evaluation of the Ohio State University Competition for a Center for the Visual Arts. Using the criteria stated by the jury for their selection of the winner, we assessed public responses to the entries. The public ranked the winning entry as third or fourth out of five. The results confirm potential problems in the reliance on architectural experts to judge public reactions, and they demonstrate the need for further study of the jury process.
Article
Computer visualization of landscapes in three or four dimensions constitutes a “crystal ball” capable of showing us views into the future. This paper discusses the risks of the growing but unstructured use of these landscape visualizations as a popular decision-making and public communications tool in planning. The author argues that we need to establish a framework for guidance and supporting resources for the use of landscape visualization, including accepted procedures, training, appropriate databases, and a communication network for users. In particular, it is argued that the preparers of visualizations — whom we can think of as the “crystal ball gazers” who conjure up and interpret the imagery — need to be governed by a code of ethics for defensible landscape visualization.Drawing on research on visualization effectiveness and validity, as well as anecdotal evidence from professional practice, the paper identifies potential problems associated with emerging visualization technologies, and reviews the needs for, progress toward, and potential benefits of a support infrastructure for visualization preparers and presenters. A framework for guidance and support of visualization practitioners is proposed, in the hope of improving the chances of ethical practice and scientific validity in the use of these systems. Pending more comprehensive findings from the considerable body of research which is needed on this subject, an interim code of ethics is presented, for consideration, testing, and amendment by other researchers and users. It is suggested that such a code include broad principles and guidance on ethical conduct in producing visualizations, presenting them to viewers, and analysing responses to them from users as feedback.Implications for future research and practice are provided, with an emphasis on the urgent need for researchers to monitor and evaluate the use and influence of landscape visualizations in practice.
Article
This paper presents a study that investigated whether computer generated representations are perceived as more credible means of communicating design than traditional forms of representations. Architects, other professionals, and elected members of the public assessed two computer generated and two hand drawn forms of representation using semantic differential scales. Results show that computer generated photomontage is perceived as the most credible and perspective drawing and as the least credible form of representation. Statistical analysis revealed a remarkable resemblance between the responses by the public and professionals and clear differences between these two groups and architects' perceptions.
Article
In the context of architectural and urban design, we compared and contrasted passive observation of walkthroughs of a desktop computer modelled environment with user-controlled (active) navigation of the same model. In a study involving 81 participants, we explored the differences in subjective responses attributable to navigation mode. Quantitative measurements using perception and sensation scales showed that differences were relatively minor, but generally suggestive of a positive connotation for the active condition. Notably, we also observed differences in the way self-navigators and observers speak about and recall the environment they experienced. These differences lead us to conclude that the best mode of presentation of a virtual built environment depends on the purpose for which opinion is being sought.
Article
A semantic recognition and rule-oriented approach for developing a product design is proposed. The development of an office chair is used to describe the design procedures. A number of referential products are used to quantify partial correlation coefficients, which represent individual contributions of constituent components to the impression of a whole product with respect to an image, by using the ‘quantification theory type I’ and ‘semantic differential method’. The results are then built as an image database. A computer program is constructed by integrating the techniques of constructing B-splines, shape grammars and fuzzy operations to provide a CAD environment in which 3D basic models of a product can be constructed by starting with inputting an image word(s) and the corresponding membership functions for describing the image of the required product. After a basic product model has been constructed, new product forms can further be generated by regulating the shapes of the component(s) using shape rule(s).
Article
As a basic research tool for modeling human sensitivity, we have developed a program for analyzing sensitivity evaluation data using a fuzzy regression method. This takes into account the ambiguities and nonlinearity of human sensations and thus provides a method for quantifying their correlations with physical characteristics. This was applied to a study of thermal sensation in a vehicle interior. Optimum membership functions were obtained that show the nonlinear relationship between each physical variable (e.g., air flow velocity, temperature and sun load) and thermal sensation. When a fuzzy regression analysis was performed using the membership functions, it was found that 85% of the evaluation scores that human subjects gave to various thermal sensations were included within the range of the estimated values.Relevance to industryWe have been conducting basic studies aimed at the creation of comfortable vehicle interiors. These studies have focused on the development of interiors matching human sensitivities by quantifying the correlations between human sensations and the physical characteristics of the interior which influence them using fuzzy logic analysis method.
Article
The ‘Kansei’ Engineering method was applied to evaluate vehicle interior image, especially roominess and oppressiveness. A diagnostic system for comfortableness using design elements and dimensions was developed and introduced. Relevance to industryKansei Engineering is utilized in automotive interior design and evaluation. The analytic method and diagnostic system provide help to the designers and evaluation panelists.
Article
For Post-Modern architects and others with an interest in architecture that communicates desirable meanings to the public, empirical study of the meaning inferred from styles can be helpful. This research examined the connotative meanings laypersons infer from various home-styles, the variability of those meanings with sociodemographic characteristics and region, and whether architects share or know public meanings. Adiverse sample of 118 adults in Columbus, Ohio, and 102 adults in Los Angeles rated six styles of homes in terms of desirability, and the friendliness and status of assumed residents. In total, 65 architects in Columbus answered the same questions and tried to guess how the Columbus public responded. Laypersons in Columbus and L.A. displayed remarkably similar patterns of response. Significant effects of style revealed that both groups rated Farm and Tudor as most desirable, Mediterranean and Saltbox and least desirable, Farm as most friendly, Colonial as unfriendly, Colonial and Tudor as highest in status, and Saltbox and Mediterranean as lowest in status. Differences in meaning emerged in relation to sociodemographic characteristics, and the architects responded differently from and misgauged the public responses.
Article
This chapter considers the contribution of the psychology of perception to the study of landscape aesthetics. It deals with a variety of factors that play a role in human preference for landscapes, such as the need to comprehend one's surroundings, and the concern to learn and be stimulated ("involvement'). The visual environment and three-dimensional space are examined, and an overview is given using a preference matrix. The author also attempts to address some widely held misconceptions about preference and perception. -C.Lloyd
Article
It is important that the properties of a Virtual Reality (VR) model support its purpose in the specific context in which it is used. This study investigated how employees of a company experienced a VR model of their yet-to-be-built office building. We also compared the VR experience with the employees' experience of the completed building. The results showed that the employees felt that the VR model was a useful aid in the decision-making process concerning their future workplace. In addition, The Semantic Environment Description Scale was used to compare the experience of the VR model with the experience of the real building. The results suggest that the VR model gave a fairly accurate representation of the real building.
Article
Kansei Engineering is a product development tool used to identify users’ perceptions and find quantitative relationships between their subjective responses and design features. This paper proposes the use of Kano’s model in this process to analyse the impact of different subjective attributes on consumers’ purchase decisions. A practical example of real estate promotions design is presented. In the first stage, semantic differential is used to measure the subjective component of the emotional state. In the second stage, regression analysis and Kano’s model are used to define the relative weight of each emotional attribute in the purchase decision. Besides linear attributes, Kano’s model identified two other kinds of attributes that present a non-linear performance: basic attributes and exciting attributes. Therefore linear models could underestimate the effect of such kind of attributes.Relevance to industryThis information is very relevant for architects and designers as it enables them to determine the extent to which they must direct their efforts at improving certain attributes with the object of improving the global evaluation.
Article
In this paper we analyze the customer's emotional response to real estate promotions by using Kansei Engineering techniques. This methodology allows us identify the main independent concepts or attributes which describe the purchaser's perception of a specific property expressed in his own words. These attributes are ordered according to their influence on the overall opinion in order to quantify their relative importance. In this way, a quantitative model for predicting an overall assessment from symbolic attributes can be obtained. The method provides a quantitative way of predicting the success of a specific property on sale by evaluating the main factors that condition it. Moreover, a detailed comparative analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of different competing properties can be made.A field study was carried out in order to demonstrate the method. A sample of 155 subjects participated in the study and they evaluated 112 urban flats in the city of Valencia (Spain). By using differential semantic techniques we have identified 15 principal factors that characterize customer's perceptions. After obtaining the consumers’ semantic structure, the relationships between the subjects’ emotional response and overall evaluation in terms of the purchase decision was established.The usefulness of this method is shown through the semantic profiles of two properties not included in the above analysis. These profiles explain the differences in overall customer preferences and justify their position in the market analyzed.
Article
This paper describes studies of styling or design specification of passenger car interiors as examples of application of Kansei engineering, especially regarding the speedometer and steering wheel of a passenger car. These units require easy operation or good visibility, but we did not consider these functions here and treated only the styling impression. Subjective evaluations were carried out by semantic differential methods, then analyzed by using multivariate analyses. We gathered the results concerning the relationship between an impression and characteristics of styling to understand the conditions which create a desired impression. Relevance to industry These studies were carried out to improve the cabins of passenger cars. We can also apply similar methods of styling to other industry products.
Article
This study investigated the differences in the product form perception of designers and users. The semantic differential (SD) method was employed to examine the relationship between the subjects’ evaluation of telephone samples and form design elements. The authors used 14 image-word pairs for the evaluation of telephone design. The format for a measurement scale was constructed by a projection method in order to extract design attributes for an SD test. Twenty-four real telephone samples were presented to 40 subjects (20 designers and 20 users) for subjective evaluation. Multivariate analyses were performed to analyze the subject's perceptions and to build conceptual models for telephone design. The result revealed that many differences exist between designers’ and users’ perceptions of the same real objects and their interpretations of the same image-words. Users are not clear regarding the meaning of the image-words. Moreover, they are very concerned about whether a telephone looks new. Designers tend to value telephone samples with an elegant style while users prefer modern and sleek designs. The conceptual models of the two subject groups are made up of different components. Creative, mature, delicate design images play a greater role in affecting the designers’ preference while the users’ preference is affected mainly by images of delicacy. The implications of differences in preference and the relationship between image-word and actual design elements for the two subject groups are discussed.
Article
This paper describes the research and development work done on a design support system intended for use as a support tool in designing office chairs. Subjective evaluations were conducted using the semantic differential (SD) method to examine the relationship between users' personal assessments of office chairs and design elements. The results obtained were then quantified by means of multivariate analysis and incorporated in a database. As a result, this system can indicate the design elements needed to create a given chair design. A chair design is output in a graphical representation in response to an adjective input. Because the graphical representation is composed of 3-D data, it is possible to display the design from any desired perspective and also perform shading and other operations.Relevance to industryHaving access to quantified data on the relationship between chair designs and user evaluations is useful to office chair manufacturers in formulating design strategies. Because this design support system is based on such quantified data, it can also be a valuable tool in designing actual chairs. In addition, the graphic display capabilities using 3-D data and the design manipulation functions make it possible to conduct model simulations on a computer screen.
Article
The articles published in Landscape and Urban Planning during the past 16 years provide valuable insights into how humans interact with outdoor urban environments. This review paper explores the wide spectrum of human dimensions and issues, or human needs, addressed by 90 of these studies. As a basis for analysis, the major themes tapped by the findings were classified into two overarching groups containing three categories each. The Nature needs, directly linked with the physical features of the environmental setting, were categorized in terms of contact with nature, aesthetic preference, and recreation and play. The role of the environment is less immediate in the Human-interaction group, which includes the issues of social interaction, citizen participation in the design process, and community identity. Most significantly, the publications offer strong support for the important role nearby natural environments play in human well-being. Urban settings that provide nature contact are valuable not only in their own right, but also for meeting other needs in a manner unique to these more natural settings. In addition, although addressed in different ways, remarkable similarities exist concerning these six people requirements across diverse cultures and political systems. Urban residents worldwide express a desire for contact with nature and each other, attractive environments, places in which to recreate and play, privacy, a more active role in the design of their community, and a sense of community identity. The studies reviewed here offer continued evidence that the design of urban landscapes strongly influences the well-being and behavior of users and nearby inhabitants.
Article
Photographs have long been used to represent environmental conditions in the context of landscape quality assessments and environmental perception research. Representational options have been significantly expanded by applications of computer modeling and computer graphic technologies that can provide precise visualizations based on inventoried or model-projected biophysical data. Final graphic displays from computer visualization systems can range from very abstract ‘wire-frame’ models to high resolution, photorealistic video images. An important assumption underlying the use of both photographic and computer rendered visualizations is that human viewers' responses to these representations provide valid indications of perceptions and judgments made in response to direct experience with the landscape conditions nominally represented. In this study the same set of forest landscape scenes was represented by visualizations rendered at four different levels of realism–abstraction. Each representation was shown to separate groups of observers who rated the perceived scenic beauty of the common set of forest landscape scenes. Correlations between the ratings of the same scenes in the different visualization conditions were very low, raising important questions about the representational validity of computer-generated landscape visualizations.
Article
Recent research on spatial cognition has used computer-simulated three dimensional environments to create appropriate laboratory settings when trying to examine processes of spatial orientation. One way to evaluate “virtual environments” is to replicate results of experiments which were originally conducted in traditional laboratory or in real world settings. The experiment which is reported here investigates the role of landmarks when acquiring route knowledge in a system of paths. The design follows an earlier experiment by Cohen and Schuepfer [Child development 31 (1980) 1065]. It can be shown, that landmarks play an important role in the system of paths: landmarks which are combined with turns towards the destination are more likely to become strategic nodes in the network than those which are not connected. Beside these results, a software designed to build appropriate environments is shown and its usability is demonstrated. The use of virtual environments provides both economical and flexible design of realistic experimental settings, as well as a valide recording of behavior.
Article
Perception, attention, retention, comprehension and deduction are critical parameters in probing the adequacy of computer visualizations as means of communicating urban design proposals. This study investigates these parameters in the context of the remodelling of a large urban square in Vienna, Austria. Half of a total of 76 participants experienced the site after remodelling; the other half experienced a series of visualizations of the project proposal. Their responses were gathered by means of a qualitative questionnaire and content analyzed for similarities and differences in their cognitive, affective and evaluative aspects. Significant differences in responses were related to the limitations of the visualization medium in communicating aspects such as texture, movement, interaction and specific sensory qualities related to the design. On the other hand, visualizations were superior in communicating some aspects of the design in virtue of their ability to direct attention to centred or foreground pictorial elements. Visualizations can be successfully employed in design communication, yet more emphasis has to be placed on matching visualizations with the communication needs of the targeted viewers.
Article
Visual communication is an increasingly common part of environmental decision-making, being used as a ‘common currency’ to facilitate dialogue between policymakers and non-experts, increase understanding, and thereby improve the decisions made. GIS-based landscape visualisation is one method of producing images for consultation exercises, and while continuing advances in technology allow expansion into new areas such as the visualisation of rural landscapes, there is considerable feeling that we should not allow ourselves to be guided simply by what the technology can do. Instead, we should carefully assess whether each of these increases in capability can enhance the usefulness of visualisations. The need for a critical eye is particularly apparent when considering the advances in realism, since opportunities for realistic visualisations are rarely matched by the availability of suitably detailed data, and viewers’ perceptions of factors such as accuracy and certainty are also affected by the level of realism in an image. Following suggestions in the literature, the research described here attempts to determine whether there might be a ‘sufficient’ level of realism somewhat below the maximum possible level, and also begins to investigate the relative importance of various elements within an image such as buildings and foreground vegetation. Several visualisations of English rural scenes, with elements at varying levels of detail, were rated by survey respondents according to how well they felt they communicated the appearance of the landscape. The results do not show evidence of a ‘sufficient’ level of realism, but strongly indicate that some elements are more important than others. Foreground vegetation and the appearance of the ground surface over the whole scene were found to have significant effects on ratings, although the precise effect varied between the three scenes used, and much variation in ratings was not accounted for.
Article
In order to assess the validity of computer-generated environment simulations, an empirical field study was conducted. First a computer model of a real urban park environment was developed and used to produce both daylight and night-time animations of a 3 min walk into and through the park. The level of visual detail is high with all trees, buildings and hard surfaces correctly textured. Moving vehicles are also included. Sounds recorded on-site along the selected path were dubbed onto the animations and recorded on videotape. Then an elaborated questionnaire was constructed which measures respondents’ cognitive and affective reactions to the presented environment, including impressions of the area, content retention and comprehension, and their evaluation of the simulations’ realism. Four groups of participants saw the animations and were also taken for a walk in the real environment, either by day or night; for half of them the order of simulation and reality was reversed. The results show that even detailed and time-consuming computer simulations do not necessarily generate the same responses as the corresponding real environment. However, differences between day and night conditions are mostly the same in the simulated as in the real environment, and the realism ratings of the viewers were generally encouraging. The findings elucidate where further development and evaluation are warranted.
Article
This research examined differences between the features of ‘high’ and ‘popular’ style residential architecture and between responses to those styles by architects and non-architects. Forty slides (20 of each style) were scored in terms of physical properties. They were also rated by 20 architects and 20 non-architects. The research identified distinct physical features of each style. ‘High’ style residential architecture had fewer materials, more concrete, simpler forms, more white, and off-center entrances. They were judged as more complex, novel, and exciting. ‘Popular’ style residential architecture was characterized by use of more building materials, horizontal orientation, hip roofs, framed windows, centered entrances, and warm colors. Architects and non-architects differed in how they characterized and evaluated the two kinds of buildings, Architects rated the ‘high’ buildings as more clear, coherent pleasant, relaxing, and meaningful. Models of preference revealed that both groups favored novelty and coherence (or clarity), but the non-architects favored simplicity and ‘popular’ attributes, while the architects favored complexity and ‘high’ attributes.
Article
In this paper the authors propose to analyse the structure of citizen’ emotional impressions and determine their influence on the choice of neighbourhood by applying differential semantics. With this technique it is possible to transmit the perceptions experienced by citizens in terms of emotional performance. According to Kansei methodology, in order to evaluate a situation appropriately, the assessment variables must be adapted to the users’ mental scheme. The first step therefore requires the identification of a citizen's conceptual scheme. One hundred and fifty-nine subjects expressed their opinions on different neighbourhoods in the city of Valencia (Spain). The semantic space of a neighbourhood was described by 10 independent axes which explained 60% of the variability. These axes reflected aspects related to the neighbourhood's appearance, future development, pace of life, planning, services and environmental health. Then, the relationship between the subjects’ emotional responses and the decision to choose to live in a particular area was established. Finally, a comparative analysis of two neighbourhoods in expansion was carried out to analyse the differences in overall citizen preferences. The results obtained in this study could be used in future studies of Kansei Engineering to determine what specific services a neighbourhood must have to create a certain impression.
Article
The relevance of the multiple sorting task as a research tactic for the empirical study of environmental meaning is illustrated in the context of a specific study of Modern and Post-Modern architecture. The assumption of architectural critics that Post-Modern buildings are more meaningful to the general public than Modern buildings forms the basis for the research hypotheses of this study. Twenty-four buildings, ranging from Modern to Post-Modern are evaluated by 20 architects and 20 accountants whose responses are structured through a multiple sorting task. The sorting data are interpreted in terms of regional analyses of multi-dimensional scaling structures, following the general principles of Facet Theory. These results suggest that (1) architects and accountants do employ different sets of criteria (different codes, in effect) for evaluating buildings, and yet (2) Post-Modern buildings (despite their architects' intentions of relating their designs to a popular code) are not perceived by the accountants as distinct from Modern buildings. The particular strengths of the multiple sorting task as a research tactic for this and other studies of environmental meaning are discussed and summarized.
Article
Simulations of urban or natural environments created by graphics computer software are increasingly being utilized in research and applied contexts, and pertinent techniques have become highly sophisticated. However, the quality and utility of such presentation means still need careful validation. This issue was addressed in a series of lab and field studies. In the study reported here, a simulation of a suburban environment was presented to respondents (n=147) in several variations to investigate the effects of lighting (day/sun, day/fog, night), personal shadow (yes/no) and sound (on/off) on perceived simulation quality. The contingencies with related aspects (such as comprehension, recollection and appreciation of the simulated environment) were investigated as well. Based on a comprehensive conceptual framework, a set of scales measuring relevant cognitive and affective aspects was employed. Main results are that simulations were perceived as valid and acceptable, that appraisals differ according to lighting and time-of-day conditions, and that provision of sound enhances the perceived quality of presentations. The findings elucidate which factors are crucial for further improving simulations and clarify the validity of computer simulations for assessing existing and future environments.
Article
Communicating planning results within expert groups or to local citizens is crucial to an efficient planning process. In the planning and design disciplines such as landscape and urban planning, recent digital 3D-visualizations have gained increased recognition. However, the validation of simulations of virtual landscapes, in terms of their degree of realism (R’Degree) has so far been neglected in research. This study concentrates on the question whether, how, and to which degree the real visually perceived landscape, represented through photographs, can be validly represented by means of virtual landscapes. The study area comprises the communities of Schwyz and Ingenbohl–Brunnen situated on Lake Lucerne in Central Switzerland.From a modelling point of view, landscapes are highly complex structures. Instead of manually modelling the virtual environment, which is the traditional CAD-approach, a GIS-based approach is pursued. This is the prerequisite for the efficient visualization of large data sets.The validity of the created virtual landscape is tested in an empirical study in which test persons are asked to order a set of real images and variations of the corresponding computer-generated images. In the experiment, approximately 75% of the test persons assigned the highest possible value (very high degree of realism) to one or more scenes of simulated landscapes. In order to achieve an even higher degree of realism, more and very detailed 3D-object-data and accompanying texture information would be necessary.
Article
Research indicates a relationship between sensory perception of natural environments and human health. Our hypothesis is that people perceive green spaces in terms of certain dimensions, where some dimensions are more important and preferred than others with respect to restoring people from stress.The aims are to: identify and describe the perceived dimensions in nature; identify which dimensions people in general prefer; identify the dimensions people reporting stress prefer; and identify a combination of the dimensions people reporting stress prefer.A total of 953 randomly selected informants from nine Swedish cities (representative of the Swedish population) answered a postal questionnaire with pre-coded questions. The questionnaire consisted of three parts: personal data, preferences for natural qualities and self-estimations of health status. The data were analyzed using factor analysis and regression analyses.The results identify and describe eight perceived sensory dimensions. People in general prefer the dimension Serene, followed by Space, Nature, Rich in Species, Refuge, Culture, Prospect and Social. The dimensions Refuge and Nature are most strongly correlated with stress, indicating a need to find the most restorative environments. A combination of Refuge, Nature and Rich in Species, and a low or no presence of Social, could be interpreted as the most restorative environment for stressed individuals.From a city planning perspective, the results indicate how urban green spaces can be viewed as elements of importance to public mental health. However, before the dimensions can be used by practitioners as tools to promote health through city planning, more research is needed.
Article
This paper examines the procedure of visual impact analysis and assessment (VIAA) proposed by Rahman and reviews the use of computer-aided design (CAD) applications in urban projects in the real world. A preliminary computerized procedure for VIAA is proposed. An experiment was conducted in our laboratory to verify the preliminary procedure. In order to further study the revised procedure in real urban projects, it was also applied into the renew project of The Eastern Gate Plaza located in the center of Hsinchu, Taiwan from 1996 to 1998. Based on the face-to-face discussions with Hsinchu habitants, government officials, and professional designers, a final computerized procedure for VIAA is concluded.