Worksite Location: NYC
The researchers will develop a new high-tech system for human-response testing to improve the quality of architectural designs. The implementation of this testing platform will be demonstrated through a study of wayfinding optimization in a healthcare context. The overall project will be divided into seven tasks, each of which will employ rigorous and up-to-date methods as appropriate to the fields of study involved. First, the team will create a high-resolution VR environment that is optimized to provide an immersive and intuitive presentation of architectural designs for testing purposes. Second, we will develop and calibrate a non-invasive biophysical measurement system (encompassing EEG patterns, heart-rate, galvanic skin response, etc.) that can be used in conjunction with virtual immersion. Third, we will establish a precise research protocol for using this equipment, which can be adopted for a wide range of studies even by researchers who have little experience in neuroscience and information technology. The fourth task will be to conduct our primary demonstration study to evaluate wayfinding variables in a healthcare setting. In the final tasks we will develop an integrated software plug-in, guidebook, and online data-sharing platform for designers who want to use our protocols to carry out their own studies.