Does Space Matter? A Cross-Disciplinary Investigation upon Spatial Abilities of Architects

in Research Culture in Architecture

Abstract

- Spatial ability is considered a key ability for STEM disciplines and has been correspondingly studied extensively, not least by the development of a vast number of psychometric tests. Based on the assumption that spatial ability is also central for architecture, the present paper presents an ongoing research on the development of a new test, specifically made to capture the spatial ability of architects. The test is based on aspects of the architectural process of design that have been broken down into single test items. The output of the research project will be both a finalized version of the test and a book for training purposes, based on this test. As spatial ability is malleable, it can be improved by exercise. This appears particularly relevant in relation to the gender gap emerging from this and former studies on spatial ability. The project is intended as a contribution to a better understanding of the nature of spatial ability in architecture in relation to the better-known visual ability as developed by art historians, among others.

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