Foros 2016: Christoph Hölscher and Victor Schinazi

Join us for an open lecture about neuro-architecture: science and architecture, by the Swiss scientists Christoph Hölscher and Victor Schinazi, from ETH Zürich as part of the lecture series: “Foros 2016: Origin” at UIC Barcelona School of Architecture.

This year again, we are pleased to invit you at this new edition of Foros: the scientists Christoph Hölscher and Victor Schinazi, invited by the School of Architecture in collaboration with Archiimpact, will be opening Foros 2016 “Origin”. In their lecture, “Wayfinding: Spatial Cognition in Architectural Design”, they will be talking about how cognitive science and environmental psychology can help architects improve mobility in their buildings. Christoph Hölscher, Professor of Cognitive Science at ETH Zürich, whose joint studies on the perception of space with Victor Schinazi have analysed such emblematic buildings as Seattle Central Library by Rem Koolhaas (OMA), is regarded as one of Europe’s most respected experts in applying his knowledge of this branch of science to the world of architecture.

Stress and Restoration during Navigation through an Urban Environment
Stress and Restoration during Navigation through an Urban Environment

Orientation and navigation can be a challenging task in the built environment. This is particularly the case in large-scale public buildings such as hospitals, conference centers, train stations or airports. Disorientation can limit the functional qualities of a building as well as patron’s well-being. As such, understanding how environmental features as well as individual spatial abilities shape orientation and movement can help architects improve the usability and user experience of their building designs. We employ a variety of spatial analysis tools such as Space Syntax, behavior observation and targeted user experiments including eye-tracking studies and Virtual Reality simulation as part of a human-centered design support and evaluation. Such behavioral studies are complemented by interviews and design experiments with architects and urban designers in order to clarify how these actors anticipate building usage and human cognition in their own design process.

Christoph Hölscher

Christoph Hölscher is a psychologist by training and Professor of Cognitive Science at ETH Zürich since 2013, with an emphasis on Applied Cognitive Science. He was previously Assistant Professor at the Cognitive Science Center of the University of Freiburg, Germany. There he was as principal investigator on projects in the SFB/TR8 Spatial Cognition, Europe’s largest research center on spatial cognition integrating psychology, cognitive science, computer science, linguistics and GIS. He holds a PhD in Psychology from University of Freiburg, serves as honorary senior research fellow at UCL, Bartlett School of Architecture, and as visiting Professor at Northumbria University Newcastle.

Victor Schinazi

Victor Schinazi is a Senior Lecturer (Oberassistent) in the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Science at ETH Zürich. Victor is an urban planning by training and has earned degrees in sociology, geography and neuroscience. Victor’s research combines neuroimaging and behavioural testing in order to investigate how spatial information is encoded and used to guide navigation. Much of his research relies on the development of immersive virtual environments that can mimic real world situations. Recently his work has incorporated physiological measures of stress in simulated urban and building environments.

The ETH Cognitive Science group investigates basic and applied questions of complex cognition. That is, how humans tackle complex tasks in real-world environments that range from the interaction with computer systems to finding one’s way around a large building or urban environment. The group is reaching out to engineers, architects and designers and emphasizes a human-centered perspective on technology and environmental design.

ETH Zürich

This is a good opportunity to continue learning from the branches of architecture so we invite you to join us at Foros 2016:
Date: Monday, 1 February 2016 – 7 p.m.
Title: Wayfinding: Spatial Cognition in Architectural Design
Venue: UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, Aula Magna (Main Hall) – C/ Immaculada, 22, Barcelona
Language: English
Admission: free, limited places, please register here

Guillermo Marfà Permanyer, UIC Barcelona School of Architecture

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