Here's What You Can Learn About Architecture from Tracking People's Eye Movements - interior design Blogs

Here's What You Can Learn About Architecture from Tracking People's Eye Movements

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Game-Changing Eye-Tracking Studies Reveal How We Actually See Architecture."

© Ann Sussman

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Game-Changing Eye-Tracking Studies Reveal How We Actually See Architecture."While many architects have long clung to the old ?form follows function? adage, form follows brain function might be the motto of today?s advertisers and automakers, who increasingly use high-tech tools to understand hidden human behaviors, and then design their products to meet them (without ever asking our permission!)Biometric tools like an EEG (electroencephalogram) which measures brain waves; facial expression analysis software that follows our changing expressions; and eye-tracking, which allows us to record ?unconscious? eye movements, are ubiquitous in all kinds of advertising and product development today?beyond the psychology or medical departments where you might expect to see them. These days you?ll also find them installed at the behavioral research and user experience labs in business schools such as American University in DC and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts.What happens when you apply a biometric measure like eye-tracking to architecture" More than we expected...
Indeed, after running four pilot-studies looking at buildings in both city and suburb (New York City, Boston, Somerville and Devens, MA) since 2015, we think these technologies stand to revolutionize our understanding of how architecture impacts people and, in a first, allow us to predict human responses, including things like whether people will want to linger outside a new building or, within fractions of a second, choose to flee. (There?s more on our first eye-tracking study in the cover story of Planning Magazine, June, 2016.)In sum, we believe once you ?see? how we look at buildings, you?ll never look at architecture the same way again. So, here are three unexpected findings gathered from eye-tracking architecture:1. People Ignore Blank Facades
© Ann Sussman

Run even one eye-tracking study and this result will hit you on the head like a ton of bricks. Put it in red lights: People don?t tend to look at big blank things, or featureless facades, or architecture with four-sides of repetitive glass. Our brains, the work of 3.6 billion years of evolution, aren?t set up for that. This is likely because big, blank, featureless things rarely killed us. Or, put another way, our current modern architecture simply hasn?t been around long enough to impact behaviors and a central nervous system that?s developed over millennia to ensure the species? survival in the wild. From the brain?s visual perspective, blank elevations might as well not be there.You can see this in the study above. It shows two views of NYC?s Stapleton library, one with existing windows, at right and, at left, one without them (a photoshopped version we ma...
Source: Archdaily
URL: http://www.archdaily.com/

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