Exploring the effect of bodily experience on architecture students' generating spatial ideas: a case study

Sema Alaçam, Toni Kotnik, Gülen Çaǧdaş

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


We aim to unfold the discussions on architects’ way of interacting with digital media through phenomenological approach which have common foundations in philosophy, human-computer interaction and cognitive science. This paper is an attempt to understand the nature and aesthetic dimensions of bodily experience acquired and expressed through hand gestures and to explore the role of this bodily experience in the way architects develop spatial ideas. Our aim is to explore if there are repetitive gestural or common behaviour patterns among different students during the externalization of design ideas. As an experimental study, we evaluate half an hour modelling exercise with two participants, both master's level architecture students. We analyse the way in which gestural interaction and the vocabulary of verbal description is affected when the designers communicate increasingly complex and abstract spatial relations or metaphoric concepts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnalyzing Cognitive Processes during Design
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the HBiD 2014
EditorsMirko Meboldt, Sven Matthiesen, Petra Badke-Schaub, Quentin Lohmeyer
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-906327-02-0
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Human Behavior in Design - Ascona, Switzerland
Duration: 14 Oct 201417 Oct 2014


ConferenceInternational Conference on Human Behavior in Design
Abbreviated titleHBiD
Internet address


  • Bodily experience
  • spatial thinking
  • aesthetics
  • gestures
  • phenomenology of touch


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