University of Oklahoma assistant professor of architecture Dr. Tiziana Proietti recently presented her research during the Academy of Neuroscience for Architecture (ANFA) conference. ANFA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and advance knowledge that links neuroscience research to a growing understanding of human responses to the built environment.  

Proietti partnered with Dr. Sergei Gepshtein of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in a presentation entitled, “Appraising the role of architectural proportion from a psychophysical perspective.” They are developing an interdisciplinary program of research that bridges neuroscience and architectural design to test age-old hypotheses about human responses to architectural proportion.  

Their project explores how individuals’ understandings of proportion affect perceptions of structure and other architectural factors. Drawing on the work of Dutch architect Hans van der Laan (1904 – 1991), in particular his “plastic number” system, Proietti and Gepshtein are carrying out “psychophysical experiments into the human ability to discriminate proportions of three-dimensional objects and volumes
across distances and spatial scales.”

For the first time, the 2020 ANFA Conference was held online. The conference is designed to continue a tradition of exploring, from a scientific basis, the range of human experiences that occur in context with elements of architecture, both exterior and interior.  The researchers and practitioners focused on communication, knowledge sharing, and integration at the conference.  

Including Proietti, 32 speakers attended the conference to share their work, in five core areas: Design Thought Process, Health & Healthcare, Spatial Interactions & Navigation, Sensory Experience, and Catalysts to Learning.  

Dr. Proietti earned her doctorate from the Department of Architecture of the Sapienza University of Rome. Today, she directs the Sense-Base Laboratory at the University of Oklahoma.

Read the full abstract here, and see a video and poster below.

View a video summarizing Drs. Proietti’s and Gephstein’s research, below:

View Drs. Proietti’s and Gephstein’s ANFA poster, below: