Perception and Function in Occupant-space Relationship

By Sara Bayramzadeh.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

How can architectural space communication with users be enhanced in order to serve users better? Among many design fields, architecture is the one that has a constant correlation with everyday life, as most people spend a significant portion of their time within a built environment. The direct influence of the quality of space on the quality of users’ lives indicates the critical responsibility of architectural design. Recognizing, respecting, and responding to the users’ needs and expectations are the necessary steps in a design process that wishes to improve the quality of life. Thus, the consideration of a user centered design will lead to the fulfillment of the users’ needs.
In this paper, I will focus on two approaches that improve the relationship between the Occupants and the built environment: “the multisensory experience” and “the true function”. I am looking for approaches to bring both multisensory experience and true function back to architectural space in order to enhance users’ daily experiences in the built environment. I propose the ways in which physical senses can be engaged in spatial experience, as well as assessing each sense with related spatial features. My assessments are based on my personal experiences, and other theoretical resources. I discuss function later with an introduction on affordance, a psychological approach to design, and their relation to one another, as well as introducing anti-functionalism and its consequences in frame of a case study.

Keywords: User, Occupant, Architecture, Perception, Multisensory Experience, Sensation, Affordance, Function

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.695-706. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.467MB).

Sara Bayramzadeh

Graduate Assistant, Department of Architecture and Interior Design, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, USA

Sara Bayramzadeh is a Graduate Assistant at Miami University, currently working on her master’s in Architecture. In 2008, she received her Bachelor of Architecture from Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch in Iran. Her undergraduate thesis is titled House of Iran in Paris, as her interest in exploring different cultures and exchanging thoughts among civilizations. She has practiced Architecture professionally through interning at different firms in Tehran during her undergraduate studies and after. Being passionate to experience higher education, new educational environments, and diverse cultures, she decided to travel to the United States. Now, she is continuing her research in areas related to multisensory experience and perception in Architecture, and the relationship of users with the built environment.


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