Embodied Emotions: A Methodology for Experiments in Architecture and Corporeality

in Research Culture in Architecture

Abstract

- This paper describes a set of experiments focused on the study of the relationship between architecture and the body. These experiments were part of a larger study on the topic and followed an analysis of historical architectural texts from Vitruvius to current theories of embodiment. The experiments addressed the problem of how it is possible to influence user’s emotions through architectural space and design objects. Our hypothesis was that this can be achieved through a process of empathy between the user’s body and the surrounding space. The methodology employed combined the use of biometric technology, a Presence Questionnaire, and a pictorial assessment technique, the Self-Assessment Manikin chart (SAM) to analyze psychophysiological changes in the body’s sensory perception during performances with designed objects and architectural spaces at different scales. Results show that this methodology can be useful in the design process and in architectural teaching to evaluate design outcomes and users’ emotional responses.

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