Exploring isovist-based correlates of spatial behavior and experience

This source preferred by Jan Wiener

Authors: Franz, G. and Wiener, J.M.

Pages: 503-517

Publisher: Space Syntax

Isovist and visibility graphs o®er the great chance to describe spatial properties of envi- ronments generically. This paper discusses theoretical and methodological issues arising from the practical application of isovist analysis for empirical research in the ¯eld of spa- tial cognition and architectural psychology. The background of two experiments exploring the in°uence of spatial form and structure on behavior and experience is presented. Since isovists and visibility graphs allow the translation of a wide range of spatial environments into a common and generic data format, a central analytical step is the derivation of spe- ci¯c characteristic values. As most descriptors mentioned in the literature are rather basic and derived from formal analysis, their descriptive relevance for human spatial perception, behavior, and experience cannot be taken for granted. Hence, the derivation of meaning- ful descriptors was done theory-driven and empirically veri¯ed particularly focusing on classic theories of environmental psychology. Furthermore, strategies for solving the prac- tical issue of ¯nding a suitable scope of application for the analysis as well as the relation between the measurands are discussed. Based on this, a preliminary minimal set of iso- vist derivatives generically capturing behaviorally and experientially relevant properties of architectural space is proposed.

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