Architecture Faculty Research and Publications

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Now showing 1 - 9 of 9
  • ItemOpen Access
    Focal and Ambient Processing of Built Environments: Intellectual and Atmospheric Experiences of Architecture
    Rooney, Kevin K.; Condia, Robert J.; Loschky, Lester C.; condia; loschky; Condia, Robert J.; Loschky, Lester C.
    Neuroscience has well established that human vision divides into the central and peripheral fields of view. Central vision extends from the point of gaze (where we are looking) out to about 5 degrees of visual angle (the width of one's fist at arm's length), while peripheral vision is the vast remainder of the visual field. These visual fields project to the parvo and magno ganglion cells, which process distinctly different types of information from the world around us and project that information to the ventral and dorsal visual streams, respectively. Building on the dorsal/ventral stream dichotomy, we can further distinguish between focal processing of central vision, and ambient processing of peripheral vision. Thus, our visual processing of and attention to objects and scenes depends on how and where these stimuli fall on the retina. The built environment is no exception to these dependencies, specifically in terms of how focal object perception and ambient spatial perception create different types of experiences we have with built environments. We argue that these foundational mechanisms of the eye and the visual stream are limiting parameters of architectural experience. We hypothesize that people experience architecture in two basic ways based on these visual limitations; by intellectually assessing architecture consciously through focal object processing and assessing architecture in terms of atmosphere through pre-conscious ambient spatial processing. Furthermore, these separate ways of processing architectural stimuli operate in parallel throughout the visual perceptual system. Thus, a more comprehensive understanding of architecture must take into account that built environments are stimuli that are treated differently by focal and ambient vision, which enable intellectual analysis of architectural experience versus the experience of architectural atmosphere, respectively. We offer this theoretical model to help advance a more precise understanding of the experience of architecture, which can be tested through future experimentation. (298 words)
  • ItemOpen Access
    ‘A jumping, joyous urban jumble’: Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities as a phenomenology of urban place
    Seamon, David; triad; Seamon, David
    In this forum report, I contend that Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of Great American Cities can be interpreted as a phenomenology of the city and urban place (Jacobs, 1961/1993). I consider four aspects of the book as they relate to a phenomenological approach: (1) Jacobs’s mode of seeing and understanding as phenomenological method; (2) her claim that ‘citiness’ is a phenomenon in its own right and has the power to draw and hold people to particular urban places; (3) her portrait of urban experience and place as they are founded in environmental embodiment; and (4) her pointing toward a constellation of place relationships and processes that potentially strengthen or weaken urban robustness. I argue that much of Jacobs’s argument has parallels with the findings of space syntax research, including themes highlighted by Julienne Hanson in her 2000 article, ‘Urban Transformations’ (Hanson, 2000).
  • ItemOpen Access
    Understanding place holistically: Cities, synergistic relationality, and space syntax
    Seamon, David; triad; Seamon, David
    This article discusses two contrasting conceptual understandings of place. The approach of analytic relationality interprets places as sets of interconnected parts and their relationships. In contrast, synergistic relationality interprets places as integrated, generative fields, the parts of which are only parts as they both sustain and are sustained by the constitution and dynamism of the particular place as a whole. This article presents one interpretation of place as synergistic relationality by describing six interrelated, generative processes: place interaction, place identity, place release, place realization, place creation, and place intensification. The article considers how concepts and principles relating to space syntax contribute to understanding places as synergistic relationality broadly; and to understanding the six place processes specifically.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Thinking, Longing, and Nearness: In Memoriam Bernd Jager (1931-2015)
    Seamon, David; triad; Seamon, David
    Phenomenological psychologist Bernd Jager died in Montreal on March 30, 2015, at the age of 83. For many readers of Phenomenology & Practice, Jager was a greatly admired scholar who regularly attended and presented at the annual nternational Human Science Research conferences. His home institution, the Department of Psychology at the University of Quebec at Montreal, hosted the 2012 conference in which Jager played an instrumental role in organizing and hosting that event.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The value of new: Elementary school facility age and associated housing price.
    (2011-10-20) Gibson, Huston; hgibson
    The purpose of this article is to assess the relationship between elementary school facility age and single-family housing price in the Orlando, Florida metropolitan area. This is a cross-sectional study employing multivariate regression. The model includes facility age as a measure of perceived school quality, along with a series of control variables to assess the relationship between public elementary school facility age and the corresponding housing prices within the associated school attendance zones. This study provides evidence that housing prices are associated with school facility age. The findings show housing prices to be positively correlated with newer and historic school facilities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A way of seeing people and place: Phenomenology in environment-behavior research
    (Plenum, 2009-08-27T15:10:05Z) Seamon, David; triad; Wapner, Seymour; Demick, Jack; Yamamoto, Takiji; Minami, Hirofumi
    This review examines the phenomenological approach as it might be used to explore environmental and architectural issues. After discussing the nature of phenomenology in broad terms, the review presents two major assumptions of the phenomenological approach: (1) that people and environment compose an indivisible whole; (2) that phenomenological method can be described in terms of a “radical empiricism.” The review then considers three specific phenomenological methods: (1) first-person phenomenological research; (2) existential-phenomenological research; and (3) hermeneutical-phenomenological research. Next, the article discusses trustworthiness and reliability as they can be understood phenomenologically. Finally, the review considers the value of phenomenology for environmental design.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Interconnections, relationships, and environmental wholes: A phenomenological ecology of natural and built worlds
    (Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center, Duquesne University Press, 2009-08-26T16:41:49Z) Seamon, David; triad; Geib, Melissa
    In this article, I ask what the relationships, interconnections, and environmental wholes of ecology become in a phenomenological perspective. To answer this question, I consider one phenomenon from the natural world—color—and one phenomenon from the human-made world—vibrant urban places. To discuss a phenomenology of vibrant urban places, I turn to my own work on the bodily dimensions of environmental experience and action, especially as the lived body comes to know its everyday environment through the regularity and routine of extended time-space patterns contributing to the transformation of physical space into lived place. I also emphasize, after architectural theorist Bill Hillier, that the physical structure of place, particularly the spatial configuration of pathways, plays a major role in establishing whether streets are well used and animated or empty and lifeless. To discuss a phenomenology of color, I turn to the proto-phenomenology of Goethe, who devised a qualitative way of seeing and understanding that can rightly be called a phenomenology of the natural world. Most significantly for a phenomenological understanding of relationships, interconnections and environmental wholes, Goethe’s work demonstrates how light and color involve an underlying “belonging” seen in perceptual presence but only understood through a moment of insight in which all the parts are understood together and have a fitting place. This article was originally prepared as a keynote address delivered at the symposium, “Renew the Face of the Earth: Phenomenology and Ecology,” organized by the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa., March, 12, 2005.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A lived hermetic of people and place: Phenomenology and space syntax
    (2009-08-24T17:57:16Z) Seamon, David; triad
    This paper examines ways in which a phenomenological approach might contribute to space syntax research, drawing on three themes that mark the heart of phenomenological investigation: (1) understanding grounded in real-world experience; (2) human immersion in world; and (3) describing the lifeworld—a person or group’s everyday world of taken-for-grantedness of which the person or group is typically unaware. A major phenomenological question is how space syntax concepts, particularly the spatial configuration of the “deformed grid,” point toward a particular kind of place structure in which the spatial-temporal regularity of individual participants potentially coalesces into a larger environmental dynamic—what is termed “place ballet”—that both sustains and is sustained by an attachment to and a sense of place.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Place, placelessness, insideness, and outsideness in John Sayles' Sunshine State
    (2009-08-24T17:56:40Z) Seamon, David; triad
    John Sayles is one of America's most successful independent filmmakers, whose works include "Return of the Secaucus Seven" (1980), "City of Hope" (1991), and "Lone Star" (1996). This article examines Sayles' portrait of place in "Sunshine State" (2002), a film set in Plantation Island, Florida, where large-scale corporate development is transforming two communities- one black, the other white - into upscale winter resorts. Sayles' film probes the place experience of some sixteen vividly drawn characters and illuminiates how the same physical place, for different individuals and groups, can evoke a broad spectrum of situations, meanings, and potential futures. One of Sayles" conclusions is that people cannot escape the place in which they find themselves. They can, however, learn from that place and thereby decide wheter and in what ways they will offer that place commitment or not.