Using an eye tracker to study three-dimensional environmental aesthetics: The impact of architectural elements and educational training on viewers' visual attention

Sangwon Lee, Eungee Cinn, Jin Yan, Jaeyoon Jung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Architects apply their knowledge about the aesthetic effects of architectural elements when organizing three-dimensional architectural environments. In contrast to the extensive number of studies relating design parameters with viewers' evaluative responses, there have been few attempts to understand the impact of specific architectural elements on viewers' visual attention. Using an eye tracker to record participants' eye movements, we investigated the relationship between gaze patterns and the formal properties of architectural elements as viewed by architecture majors and non-majors. The results suggest that (1) majors focus more on three-dimensional architectural elements than do non-majors, who focus more on two-dimensional visual elements, and (2) the aesthetic effects of architectural elements as reflected in a viewers visual attention conform to Gestalt principles of perception. This study significantly adds to the research in this area by (1) extending previous eye-tracking research via a quantitative analysis, (2) expanding the knowledge regarding the aesthetic roles of architectural elements, and (3) establishing grounds for a connection between physiological data and aesthetic principles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-167
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Architectural and Planning Research
Volume32
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Urban Studies

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