Applying HCI Methods and Concepts to Architectural Design (Or Why Architects Could Use HCI Even If They Don’t Know It)

  • Jakub Krukar
  • Ruth Conroy Dalton
  • Christoph Hölscher
Chapter
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)

Abstract

The act of designing a building is indirectly, but conceptually very closely, linked to the user experience of its final outcome. It is this experience which often constitutes a major criterion for assessing the quality of the architect’s work. And yet, it would be a gross overstatement to suggest that architectural design is a user-centered process.

On a more generic level, designing any physical object acting as a catalyst for the final experience can be viewed as an act of designing a human-artifact interaction where the ‘artifact’ (be it a building or a computer device) serves as an interface for the ultimate behavior or emotional reaction. This chapter argues, that the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) can be viewed as a source of inspiration for architects wishing to incorporate, or enhance, user-centric planning routines in their creative workflows.

Drawing from the methodological toolbox of HCI, we demonstrate how user-centric planning can be placed in a structured framework, with tested and easy-to-apply methods serving as the vehicle for holistic user-centered planning processes.

The chapter proposes a formal model for understanding usability and user experience in the architectural context, demonstrates a number of methods suitable for its application, and concludes with a case study of an attempted use of one of such methods in an award-winning (yet, not necessarily user-friendly) public library project.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jakub Krukar
    • 1
  • Ruth Conroy Dalton
    • 2
  • Christoph Hölscher
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for GeoinformaticsUniversity of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.Department of Architecture and the Built EnvironmentUniversity of NorthumbriaNewcastle upon TyneUK
  3. 3.Department of HumanitiesSocial and Political Sciences, ETH ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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