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
Part of the Human–Computer Interaction Series book series (HCIS)


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.


Architectural Design Space Syntax Alarm Clock Building Usability Paper Prototype 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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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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