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The next best thing for the research now, then, is to resort to virtual realities. As the name suggests, CAVEs are essentially rooms whose walls display a virtual 3D environment, depending on the perspective of the subject inside.
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Hannah Hobbs, presenting her M. Arch thesis project , aspired to create semi-immersive virtual environments to study how people responded to different curvatures in otherwise comparable architectures. If, in a sense, you give a brain to a building. Moving with the academic tide meant away from phenomenological readings, but now, returning to the Salk with updated neuro-imaging technologies and insights, that phenomenological interpretation can stand trial.
Taking an aesthetic object and trying to break it into discrete, inalienable parts is effectively a control mechanism, creating a formal language by which things are described and categorized — a practice absolutely essential for any serious discipline. Effectively, whether or not architects can use this data to better compel clients.
By the final day of the conference, I drank the Kool-Aid. Considering neuroscientific research as the next-level of evidence-based design methodology, we stand to better understand how we live, work and play in the built environment. And in the longer term, show how our urban habitats change not only our brains, but ourselves.
Amelia Taylor-Hochberg. I write, go to the movies, walk around and listen to the radio.
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My interests revolve around cognitive urban theory, psycholinguistics and food. Currently freelancing. Be in touch through longhyphen gmail. It's amazing to see architectural media and academia embracing this stuff. Not to say that one can't or shouldn't be informed by an overarching philosophy, but one needs to acknowledge that those levels of interpretation are usually closed off to the end user.
I have a hard time seeing how this provides more meaningful feedback than occupant surveys. If my neural response indicates comfort but I say I don't like it, what should we conclude? That said it's worth further study in order to better develop knowledge of the brain's spatial processing systems.
I can't wait until I can wear some headset that makes revit models of whatever I'm thinking! Great point. It dosen't, but there is a built in skepticism of the kind of surveys you are talking about, ie, those involving non-architects.
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A year or so ago they had this post about "Why architects don't give people what they want", something that you would think occupent surveys might inform you on. It's only after the Salk Institute folks diagram it out that the 'illuminati' deign to listen. Again it's lovely that this is finaly coming to light, but how could Joni Mitchell and Chrissie Hynde be wrong?
So this whole Neuroscientists and architects working together is great and progressive. Although, much of what is going on now is data gathering, it is considerably more useful than just survey stats.
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But as midlander suggests, humans are a weird breed, capable of conscious denial of their very own emotions and phenomenological experiences of architecture or anything for that matter. Maybe architects are in denial of what's good for humans? Thank you for the government sponsored brain link programs, nearly forgot. I couldn't justify the project any other way, than using science to make art. Hopefully full scope done by end of year.
Chris, your quote " I couldn't justify the project any other way, than using science to make art. Hopefully full scope done by end of year ", encouraged me, to call out the one obvious upside to the term "translational".
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