Conference Agenda

H: Paper Session_C6: Representation, Perception and Pathfinding
Saturday, 10/Apr/2021:
8:00am - 9:30am

Panel Moderator: Mike Christenson


Synoptic Optics: Computational Representation at the Synoptic Scale

Stephen Mueller

Texas Tech University, United States of America

Synoptic optics is a design research initiative that seeks to construct armatures for enhancing and augmenting the observation of airborne particulate to enable a more immediate, public, and actionable understanding of the impact of dust at urban and territorial scales. The project includes two parallel and complementary objectives: the design of novel computational mapping strategies to assist spatial practitioners in detecting and evaluating the geography of airborne dust, and the design of novel representational strategies to sensitize urban populations to shifting atmospheric conditions with impacts on public health. Using open-source geospatial data, a geomorphologic model of the borderland is developed and dissected through a custom algorithmic circular sectioning technique. A panoramic horizon map compiles the concentric sections, yielding a synoptic view of the expanded territory as seen in deep section from a single observation point in all directions. The concentric horizons calibrate the entangled geomorphological properties of landform and atmosphere. Spherical projection techniques sample and remap the sky dome, extrapolating the impacts of wind data to articulate the likely trajectories of particulate from nearby point sources.

Selective Attention and the Built Environment: Visual Perception of 2D Spatial Representations

Jennifer A E Shields

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, United States of America

All modes of two-dimensional spatial representation are abstracted and framed views of three-dimensional embodied space and therefore subject to interpretation. Because architects use various modes of graphic representation in their design process and as tools to promote their designs to others, it is valuable to understand how people perceive an architectural space in different modes. The objective of a recent study was to compare how participants visually perceive photographs and drawings of the same architectural view, determining selective attention through eye tracking data. We hypothesized that there are differences between the features attracting attention in a photo versus a drawing, and differences in the attention of viewers with architectural training, suggesting that different modes of representation could be employed to draw attention to specific features of a design. This paper provides a brief background on visual perception and describes the methodology and outcomes of a recently completed study, which confirmed our hypotheses. Architecture students and Preschool students were shown either a photograph or a perspectival line drawing of Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for 30 seconds. While they looked at the image, eye movement data was collected. In addition to comparing how participants looked at photos and drawings of the same space, we evaluated an existing tool called saliency mapping, which claims to identify the visually dominant features of an image algorithmically. Our overarching research question we continue to pursue asks: Are there modes of representation for which visual perception closely correlates with that of an embodied architectural experience?

Cost in Space: A Value-Based Approach to Architectural Pathfinding

Jacklynn Niemiec, Steven Lilley

Drexel University, United States of America

Spatial costs that may affect pathfinding within an interior environment include variables and stimuli such as destination, ease, distance, light, sound, or even a natural tendency to move to the right. (Boettger 2014) These elements, and others, along with formal cues, can contribute to the navigation of an indoor environment. Several tools currently exist to simulate the path of travel for egress—using plans or occupancy loads in a building. These tools often generate the shortest path of travel. Methods for altering or influencing the shortest path are less prevalent, yet their potential is important to consider.

This paper presents an approach for associating architectural value within a building model and using it to influence pathfinding. The method presented uses A* pathfinding as a baseline grid and recalculates travel paths per the local or global influence of architectural value. (Hart, Nilsson, and Raphael 1968) This project's results are explored in a case study, and speculation of its application within the design process and everyday use of space is considered.