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Here's What You Can Learn About Architecture from Tracking People's Eye Movements

09:30 - 6 December, 2017
Here's What You Can Learn About Architecture from Tracking People's Eye Movements, © Ann Sussman
© Ann Sussman

This article was originally published by Common Edge as "Game-Changing Eye-Tracking Studies Reveal How We Actually See Architecture."

While many architects have long clung to the old “form follows function” adage, form follows brain function might be the motto of today’s advertisers and automakers, who increasingly use high-tech tools to understand hidden human behaviors, and then design their products to meet them (without ever asking our permission!)

Biometric tools like an EEG (electroencephalogram) which measures brain waves; facial expression analysis software that follows our changing expressions; and eye-tracking, which allows us to record “unconscious” eye movements, are ubiquitous in all kinds of advertising and product development today—beyond the psychology or medical departments where you might expect to see them. These days you’ll also find them installed at the behavioral research and user experience labs in business schools such as American University in DC and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts.

What happens when you apply a biometric measure like eye-tracking to architecture? More than we expected...