Biometrics: Biology and Psychology Meets Architecture

By Alex Landa on 7/20/2017

Architecture isn't just building design - it factors in much more than that. Buildings reflect humans and the humans who make them, incorporating aspects from biology and psychology all the time. The best designs you see aren't just the results of wanting to make something look cool; rather, the best designs are strategically planned, looking through the lens of psychological motivations and subconscious undertones, mixed with the biological features that are hard-wired into every human's brain. Ann Sussman walked us through an hour-long presentation on Biometrics, or the measurement and statistical analysis of people's physical and behavior characteristics, and how this can influence a building's design.

Biometrics allows architects, designers, engineers, and others to really 'see' how a building ticks and operates, and what individuals look at. By using heat maps and eye-tracking software, we can analyze how individuals look at a building. Think of it - when you see a home, where do your eyes go first? Unlike a book, we don't read buildings in a Z formation - for buildings, you go for the windows or the most 'human' characteristics. Our brains recognize faces faster than almost anything else, and we subconsciously try to see faces in everything we do, including houses.

Thank you, Ann, for showing our community this amazing concept in architecture! Architecture isn't just architecture, as it's a reflection of who we are and what we need. For more on Ann's work, go to her website here.

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