Integrating Human Satisfaction into the Design Phase – Generating Motivation and Knowledge in Architectural Education

Schweiker, Marcel and Moosmann, Cornelia and Wagner, Andreas (2019) Integrating Human Satisfaction into the Design Phase – Generating Motivation and Knowledge in Architectural Education. IS THIS THE REAL WORLD? Perfect Smart Cities vs. Real Emotional Cities. Proceedings of REAL CORP 2019, 24th International Conference on Urban Development, Regional Planning and Information Society. pp. 443-452. ISSN 2521-3938

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The design of sustainable cities and buildings needs to include thoughts on circumstances influencing human satisfaction be it for thermal, visual, or other dimensions of human perception. While human satisfaction should be regarded as a dimension of sustainability alone, the provision of thermal and visual satisfaction is also a key driving force for energy use in buildings. Research on human perception of the built environment and their interactions with it has a long tradition. At the same time, open research questions especially with respect to the interaction between different dimensions of human perception, e.g. the effect of thermal stimuli on visual perception, are part of the current debate within the research community. In contrast, the amount of scientific knowledge related to human satisfaction transferred to architectural students is low and consequences of their decisions during design studio works for the later occupants are seldom addressed. This paper describes the experiences and results of a teaching experiment, in which architectural students were asked to reflect their own design work finished in a previous year with respect to effects on human satisfaction by means of experimental studies. The research questions raised were a) which design issues can be investigated through experimental studies, and b) to what extent can the motivation of architectural students towards the topic of occupants’ satisfaction be raised. A seminar consisting of three phases was conducted in two consecutive summers. First, students received input related to scientific methods, thermal and visual perception, and had to reflect on one of their previous design works in order to extract research questions and hypotheses. In the second phase, students had to design and conduct a small experimentalstudy related to their research questions. In addition, they had to participate in the experiments organized by their fellow students. In the third phase, the experimental data was analysed and had to be presented together with the reflection of consequences for future design works. The results of this teaching experiment show the huge variety of design issues dealt with in the context of this seminar. Research questions originating from the students were in parts related to cutting edge research questions such as the interaction between different dimensions of perception. From the perspective of a raised motivation, a large number of students showed great interest in the topic, participated with enthusiasm, and evaluated this seminar very high. Limitations have to be seen in the small sample sizes reachable by this seminar approach with many experiments being conducted with less than 10 participants due to limited resources in time and budget, and in the low level of statistical knowledge, which is not part of architectural education.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: experimental study, education, design work, occupant behaviour, occupant satisfaction
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
L Education > L Education (General)
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2021 12:51
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2021 15:53

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