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Comparing Human Wayfinding Behavior Between a Real, Existing Building, a Virtual Replica, and Two Architectural Redesigns

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Spatial Cognition XII (Spatial Cognition 2020)

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While virtual reality (VR) is increasingly being used for behavioral studies and pre-occupancy evaluations, the correspondence of wayfinding behavior between real and virtual environments is yet understudied. In this chapter, we report a post- and pre-occupancy evaluation that compares wayfinding behavior in a real, existing building to three virtually simulated buildings: one replication of the real building and two architectural design variations of the same building. We focus on comparing the conditions with respect to their effect on a) the distance above a shortest, optimal path, and key wayfinding decisions, as well as b) absolute angular pointing errors. Preliminary results indicate that the virtual replica represented the real building, as the result patterns were generally comparable. Yet, the redesigns did not evoke a better wayfinding performance.

S. Kuliga—Contributed to this chapter during a postdoc fellowship of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), at the Future Cities Laboratory, Singapore-ETH Centre, which was established collaboratively between ETH Zurich and Singapore’s National Research Foundation (FI 370074016) under its Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise programme. For the study conduction, we appreciate prior funding of the former transregional research centre, SFB/TR8/R6 ‘Spatial Cognition’, as well as the Center for Cognitive Science at the University of Freiburg, in collaboration with ETH Zurich. For finalizing the VR models, we mainly would like to thank Alexander Dummer. For student research assistants, we thank Vincent Langenfeld, Michael Rist, and Nicolas Holland for extra updating of the models and scripts, and Saskia Leymann, Jacob Henschel, Julia Asbrand, Sascha Crede, Jana Wendler, Wibke Hachmann, and Celeste Richard for support with data collection or data preparation. We thank the participants who potentially have been lost, and anyone who supported discussions about this building.

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Kuliga, S., Mavros, P., Brösamle, M., Hölscher, C. (2020). Comparing Human Wayfinding Behavior Between a Real, Existing Building, a Virtual Replica, and Two Architectural Redesigns. In: Šķilters, J., Newcombe, N., Uttal, D. (eds) Spatial Cognition XII. Spatial Cognition 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science(), vol 12162. Springer, Cham.

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