Lecture by Christoph Hölscher: “Wayfinding: Seeking a User Perspective for Architecture”

Christoph Hölscher
Assistant Professor, Center for Cognitive Science, University of Freiburg, Germany hoelsch@cognition.uni-freiburg.de http://portal.uni-freiburg.de/cognition/members/hoelscher
Finding one's way in large public buildings like airport, hospitals or university building can be a challenging experience. Inspired by human-computer interaction and usability approaches we aim to identify, which characteristics of wayfinding tasks and which architectural properties of buildings trigger wayfinding difficulties. Our wayfinding research looks at both architectural designers and building users. Interviews and controlled design tasks help us understand how architects address navigability and orientation in their building designs. On the user side, we start with naturalistic observational studies in real buildings, and combine that with Virtual Reality simulations, laboratory based Eye-Tracking studies, and questionnaire research. Space Syntax, an analytic technique and toolset developed at University College London, formally captures environmental properties like visual access and layout complexity. I will discuss how this approach, together with Virtual Reality studies, can be employed towards predicting wayfinding behavior in the built environment. The event is part of the COGNI.TECTURES Lecture Series, sponsored by GSD Urban Mobilities. For more information contact Dido Tsigaridi.
Christoph Hölscher is a psychologist by training, and assistant professor at the Cognitive Science Center of the University of Freiburg, Germany. He is a principal investigator on projects in the SFB/TR8 Spatial Cognition , Europe's largest research center on spatial cognition integrating psychology, cognitive science, computer science linguistic and GIS. Dr. Hölscher is an honorary senior research fellow at University College London, Bartlett School of Architecture, and a visiting professor at UC Santa Barbara.

Additional Speakers:

Christoph Hölscher

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