Abstract

As architecture influences people’s daily life considerably, architects need in-depth insights in people’s spatial perception, needs, and desires. To be able to provide them with sufficient and suitable information on these matters we aim to investigate how architects currently use information in design, and how experiential user data could change their thinking about their projects and way of working. We conducted two focus group interviews with architects (designing healthcare buildings), each covering two parts. First, we discussed information use and knowledge generation during design. This resulted in a better understanding of a design process’ iterative nature with shifts in information content, type, and use. Several nuances were identified, e.g. between using general legal information and information focused on the building’s actual situation, and between obligatory and inspiring sources. Second, we presented different forms of research data, and probed participants' interest in and possible use of these. This provided insights in what information qualities architects look for while designing, identifying strengths and weaknesses. Also ideas for disseminating research results amongst architects were collected. We conclude by pointing out opportunities of using experiential user data to initiate and support changes in design practice that improve users’ wellbeing, especially in healthcare buildings.

Keywords:

Architecture; Design Process; Evidence; Focus group Interviews; Use of Information

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

How to Introduce Experiential User Data: The Use of Information in Architects' Design Process

As architecture influences people’s daily life considerably, architects need in-depth insights in people’s spatial perception, needs, and desires. To be able to provide them with sufficient and suitable information on these matters we aim to investigate how architects currently use information in design, and how experiential user data could change their thinking about their projects and way of working. We conducted two focus group interviews with architects (designing healthcare buildings), each covering two parts. First, we discussed information use and knowledge generation during design. This resulted in a better understanding of a design process’ iterative nature with shifts in information content, type, and use. Several nuances were identified, e.g. between using general legal information and information focused on the building’s actual situation, and between obligatory and inspiring sources. Second, we presented different forms of research data, and probed participants' interest in and possible use of these. This provided insights in what information qualities architects look for while designing, identifying strengths and weaknesses. Also ideas for disseminating research results amongst architects were collected. We conclude by pointing out opportunities of using experiential user data to initiate and support changes in design practice that improve users’ wellbeing, especially in healthcare buildings.

 

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