Using the embodied language of space to develop stress assessment tool for architectural experience

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Despite the growing amount of evidence unequivocally indicating that architecture affects people’s psychosomatic health and behavior, it remains unclear how the neurophysiological reaction is linked to the aesthetic (conscious) experience of an architectural space. Following up on previous experimental studies by Fich et al. which showed that features of the spatial setting - presence or absence of openings in the room - influence participants’ physiological stress reaction (measured as cortisol levels) [1] and the enactive cognition framework [2–6], we hypothesize that the aesthetic experience of architecture is an anticipatory process of making sense of a situation at hand and hence, at least partially a kind of a risk assessment process which might predict the physiological stress reaction in a given space.
In parallel, a rich body of work within the fields of cognitive linguistics, semantics, and neuroscience on “embodied language” emphasizes the intrinsic connection between linguistic meaning and range of experiences (sensorimotor, affective, social), in which architecture and more generally, built environment, could act as a scaffolding in language acquisition and understanding of semantic meanings. Therefore, by building upon this well-established link between linguistic meaning and embodied experience [7–10] on the one hand, and the Semantic Environment Description (SED) questionnaire developed by architectural psychologists in 1970s in Sweden [11] on the other, we explore how the space-body-language relationship can be used together with physiological measurements to develop an assessment tool to describe and capture people’s aesthetic experiences of spaces and their anticipated stress reaction. Experimental testing of our hypothesis and related questionnaire development is currently underway.
The advantages of the tool are twofold: 1) first, by using the power of language and semantic meanings as being grounded in our bodily and spatial experiences it allows for a well-targeted approximation of people’s aesthetic judgements of architectural spaces; and 2) secondly, it addresses the need for developing methodological tools specifically aimed towards scientific exploration of architectural questions, which should facilitate the information exchange and usability of research results in architectural design. Accordingly, this research is inspired by a larger framework for developing neurophenomenological approach for examining architectural experience (following [12]), which unites the strengths of cognitive neuroscience, environmental psychology, philosophy of the mind/phenomenology, and architecture to understand the human being as architectural experiential subject in its phenomenal and biological totality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Neuroscience for Architecture: Shared Behavioral Outcomes
Number of pages2
PublisherAcademy of Neuroscience for Architecture
Publication date20 Sep 2018
Pages78-79
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2018
EventAcademy of Neuroscience for Architecture 2018 Conference: Shared behavioral outcomes - SALK Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, United States
Duration: 20 Sep 201822 Sep 2018

Conference

ConferenceAcademy of Neuroscience for Architecture 2018 Conference
LocationSALK Institute for Biological Studies
CountryUnited States
CityLa Jolla
Period20/09/201822/09/2018

Fingerprint

Semantics
Linguistics
Cortisol
Architectural design
Risk assessment
Health
Testing

Keywords

  • architectural experience
  • embodied language
  • enactive cognition
  • aesthetic judgements
  • Stress

Cite this

Jelic, A., & Fich, L. B. (2018). Using the embodied language of space to develop stress assessment tool for architectural experience. In Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture: Shared Behavioral Outcomes (pp. 78-79). Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture.
Jelic, Andrea ; Fich, Lars Brorson. / Using the embodied language of space to develop stress assessment tool for architectural experience. Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture: Shared Behavioral Outcomes. Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, 2018. pp. 78-79
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Jelic, A & Fich, LB 2018, Using the embodied language of space to develop stress assessment tool for architectural experience. in Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture: Shared Behavioral Outcomes. Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, pp. 78-79, La Jolla, United States, 20/09/2018.

Using the embodied language of space to develop stress assessment tool for architectural experience. / Jelic, Andrea; Fich, Lars Brorson.

Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture: Shared Behavioral Outcomes. Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture, 2018. p. 78-79.

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingResearchpeer-review

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Jelic A, Fich LB. Using the embodied language of space to develop stress assessment tool for architectural experience. In Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture: Shared Behavioral Outcomes. Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture. 2018. p. 78-79