An empirical approach to the experience of architectural space in virtual reality-exploring relations between features and affective appraisals of rectangular indoor spaces

Gerald Franz, Markus Von Der Heyde, Heinrich H. Bülthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the presented exploratory study, quantitative relations between the experience of architectural spaces and physical properties were investigated using virtual reality (VR) simulations. Geometric properties from a component-based description of rectangular rooms were tested on their suitability as predictor variables for experiential qualities. In a virtual-reality-based perceptual experiment, qualities of 16 vacant rectangular interiors were rated in eight principal categories by 16 participants using the semantic differential scaling technique. The simulated scenes were automatically generated by means of a custom made utility that also provided for the component-based room descriptions. The data analysis revealed strong correlations between several scene features and the averaged rated experience. For example, a preference for ratios near to the golden section could be observed for spatial proportions, which are not directly perceivable. Altogether, a set of five widely independent factors (openness, two room proportions, room area, and balustrade height) turned out to be most effective for describing the observed variance in the attributed experiential qualities. The combination of realistic virtual reality simulations and psychophysical data raising methods proved to be an effective means for basic architectural research. Several quantitative relations between physical properties and the emotional experience of architectural space could be demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalAutomation in Construction
Volume14
Issue number2 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar

Keywords

  • Correlation analysis
  • Experiential qualities
  • Psychophysics
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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