Visiting professor of Architecture Tiziana Proietti was recently awarded a Gibbs College of Architecture (GCA) Program for Research Enhancement (PRE) grant in support of her project entitled “The Cognitive Value of Proportion in Architecture.”

Through this work, Dr. Proietti seeks to bridges the fields of neuroscience and architecture by looking at how proportion is connected to human perception and experience.

Dr. Proietti is building on her previous decade of research in the role of proportion in architecture. To this day, most research related to proportion in design have been historical investigations. Dr. Proietti believes that proportion functions as a “means of connection between the unlimited nature and the limited human perceptive aptitudes through intelligible spaces designed to nurture human mind and senses.”

In this project, Dr. Proietti will work with neuroscientist Dr. Sergei Gepshtein, founding director of the Collaboratory for Adaptive Sensory Technologies at theĀ SalkĀ Institute and director of the Spatial Perception and Concrete Experience (SPaCE) Lab at the University of South California (USC). The PRE grant will all Dr. Proietti to send time at the SPaCE Lab at USC to carry on tests, investigate hypotheses and collect data.

During this time, Drs. Proietti and Gepshtein will investigate how the human mind and eye react to proportion and how this body of knowledge can be brought back in the design practice. In other words, they are exploring the “biological roots” of human perception of proportion and how this knowledge might improve design outcomes.

Proietti is an architect with a Ph.D. in Architectural Design from the Department of Architecture at the University of Rome Sapienza. Her dissertation research investigated the use of proportion in architecture by exploring the design and theoretical work of Dutch architect Hans van der Laan.

To learn more about GCA’s research, click here.