If we are to imagine architecture as a user interface, designers should have strategies to feature the occupant perspective as an integral part of the design process. Below is a methodology to inorporate the user perspective as a primary force in the design process, as well as a reinrterpretation of some of the strategies for effective UIs from Everett N. McKay’s book, UI is Communication, modified for architectural design applications.
As we move towards a future where digital interfaces, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality begin to infiltrate our architectural world, architects would be wise to study the communicative values of what they design. User Interface (GUI*) design methodologies, culled from various approaches to digital media design, may offer architects insight about how to create designs that communicate directly with occupants. By utilizing geometric configurations that elicit specific feelings and actions from occupants, architects can harness the cognitive processing of users in a similar manner as achieved in sophisticated UI designs.
What inspires us when we see art? What makes something visually appealing? How does a viewer perceive an object’s significance? I’ve been trying to discover the components of how we view art, and how that translates into how we feel about architecture. With mounting client pressures and professional standards that focus architectural designs on pragmatic issues – such as program, building codes, the environment, circulation, economic values – how does an architect defend the need for beauty and pleasure, and is that an important defense?
The Architect’s Brain, by Harry Francis Mallgrave, is primarily concerned with explaining the process by which we humans categorize our spatial environment, and how neurological wiring leads us to interpret our surroundings mostly through metaphor (rather than literal).
Richard Neutra’s seminal publication on designing for human comfort, Survival Through Design, was first published in 1954. His observations are surprisingly applicable and rarely seem dated, considering the lapse of 60+ years. It is surprising though, how little work has been accomplished since the first publication, on studying how to create architecture more responsive to the human condition and neurological processing.
” ANFA is undertaking the research to show how our brains mechanically identify with our surroundings. By understanding the neurological processes involved with how spatial information is processed, the idea is that Architects would be better equipped to design responsive, navigable, comfortable, buildings.”Read More