Spatial and Architectural Cognition Lab (SPARC)

Despite decades of research, psychological theories on how people perceive and use space are rarely used in architectural practice. SPARC aims to bridge this gap by integrating psychological insights on spatial cognition with algorithmic methods for spatial design and analysis. Our work sits at the intersection of geoinformatics, cognitive psychology, and architecture.

We use virtual reality and in-the-wild empirical studies, spatio-temporal data analytics, mobile eye-tracking, and Space Syntax theory. Guided by the principles of use-inspired basic research, we focus on solving those real-world challenges that push the boundaries of existing research methods and theories.

SPARC and SIL host a workshop on 3D SketchMaps

SPARC and SIL have jointly hosted a workshop on "3D SketchMaps". The project, in which we partner with Chair of Geoinformation Engineering and Chair of Cognitive Science (both at ETH Zürich), is sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation within their Sinergia programme focusing on "interdisciplinary, collaborative and breakthrough research".

The goal of the project is the extend the popular method for studying human memory of spatial environments - "sketch maps" - from a traditional paper-based 2D format to Virtual Reality-based 3D set-up. First publication describing the concept is already available here.

SPARC co-organises the 'HabiTech' workshop

SPARC co-organises a workshop to help define a new research area – the building-level counterpoint to digital civics - how do new technologies enable and empower the inhabitants of a multi- occupancy buildings? This workshop will gather interdisciplinary experts in HCI, design, architecture, data ethics, and cognitive science to reflect on the role of HCI in cultivating digital civics inside buildings.
The workshop will be a rolling full-day hybrid event with options to participate online or offline in Honolulu, Hawai'i during the Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) Conference.
Workshop date: May 11th, 2024

New publication on visual attention in art galleries

In a new book on museum architecture edited by Prof. John Peponis from GeorgiaTech I write about 'glancing away' from art works. Why do we look away "into empty space" when spending time in museums and why has this been ignored by empirical research?
The chapter is available here.