Arc 621 SEM - Methods

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Creating environments which all people can experience in an inclusive and positive manner is important.  The previous course in this sequence (ARC 623: Behavior and Space) explored behavioral issues related to different environmental settings. This course will explore the methods by which we can learn about people’s responses to the designed environment. Learning about these techniques will provide evidence-based user information for your future design & planning work. The course falls within the Technical Methods domain of Inclusive Design. 


Sue Weidemann, PhD, is an environmental psychologist who, for over 35 years, has studied the relationships between people and the places and spaces they use, through her research, teaching, and consulting. 

Information gathering methods will include both qualitative and quantitative approaches.  These include archival methods, trace measures, spatial syntax analysis, observational techniques (both indirect and direct), focus group methods, use of interviews and surveys, and the exploration of electronic applications as a means of information gathering.

Throughout the course, students will be encouraged to use these methods to examine issues and settings of interest to themselves. These could be issues addressed in current (or past) studios or classes, or ones that might be considered for exploration as possible thesis topics or special projects.

Coursework:  Assigned readings and small project assignments will provide an introduction to these methods. This class will be conducted as a seminar, combined with fieldwork, and lectures. A final, significant course assignment will be an individual one, in which each student will create a set of methods of gathering information about a selected topic of his/her own choice.  Principles of Inclusive Design will be addressed throughout.

Eligibility: Graduate students, or instructor's permission