Human-space interaction in virtual landscapes

Korkmaz, Suna
Süreli Yayın başlığı
Süreli Yayın ISSN
Cilt Başlığı
Graduate School
Humans interact with their physical surroundings by using their cognitive and perceptual faculties. Numerous urban researchers are seeking ways to keep the space at an optimal level for human life. Hence, changing needs bring along the necessity of constant renewal and adjustment. People often perform many of the activities of daily life intuitively and relatively automatically. Because perceived compatibility can be used immediately with minimal mental effort, and the results can be perceived directly. Although we can perceive similar conveniences in a virtual space, our respective actions are not immediate or intuitive. The findings are consistent with the link between spatial configuration, spatial cognition, and patterns of space utilization. By enhancing or lowering people's feeling of place, spatial layout plays a vital role in understanding everyday experiences with space. According to Hart and Moore's research, spatial cognition is the internalized observation and construction of space in knowledge. It involves the mental or psychological image of space's organization, interactions, and order. As a result of this process, cognitive mapping occurs as a method for organizing, understanding, and navigating complicated sets of information that are present in many situations. These habitats include observable physical surroundings as well as memories of earlier environments and varied other components that influence both our past experiences and our present observations. According to Kevin Lynch, space suggests action as well as constraining the individual. According to Lynch, "legibility" refers to the system's components' ability to be instantly identified and ordered into a logical pattern. Therefore, a city can be perceived as a related model of visually recognizable symbols if it can be read. A legible city has areas where neighborhoods, landmarks, or pathways can be quickly recognized and arranged into a general pattern. He argues that the wayfinding process is facilitated by the environmental image, which is a mental representation of the physical world around us that utilizes our perception of architectural legibility. Many environmental factors can influence people's experience of space, including the dimension and depth of their surroundings. Consequently, the spatial depth and height ratio may help to perceive individuals' visual perception to evaluate enclosure quality. Considering these interactions between humans and space, the virtual space design may simulate the physical world regarding spatial perception to be an efficient environment. While research on links between virtual landscapes and cognition began almost 30 years ago, there has been a dramatic acceleration in research into how we learn to solve spatial difficulties. Especially regarding digital games production, the virtual landscape within the content is a large part of the process and has an extraordinary value in understanding how to increase the user experience. This thesis evaluates spatial cognition and spatial perception in virtual landscapes, using urban design principles at its core. Urban design theories proposed by many researchers, especially Kevin Lynch, have been accepted as a guide in questioning the spatial perception of the living environment. Nevertheless, a lack of research was observed to determine whether these hypotheses validate in a virtual environment. "How an effective virtual environment design should be? This research is aimed to reach a conclusion with the experiments carried out by specifying the questions within the scope of this thesis. Considering Lynch's legibility principle, the wayfinding elements in the virtual environment were investigated and the cognitive mapping process was examined. Afterward, the relationship between spatial perception and depth ratio was questioned and compared with the physical world. The results will lead designers and researchers to optimal virtual environment design. The thesis follows the below steps to achieve the intended aim, divided into six chapters: Following the introduction in chapter one describes the historical development process of virtual landscapes and the possible spatial capability applications in the physical world to virtual landscapes and accordingly discusses the requirements of impressive virtual landscape designs. The study continues with the literature review in chapters two and three. Chapter two includes definitions and explanations of spatial perception, spatial information, spatial cognition, and cognitive mapping in the physical world, while cognitive mapping is divided into two sections including wayfinding and D: H ratio research. Chapter three continues with the concept of the sense of place and immersion, social interactions, spatial perception, and wayfinding. To clarify the user experience in given qualities it is followed by character viewpoints and camera locations in digital games and first-person players' sense of enclosure and the D: H ratio perception in virtual landscapes. The fourth chapter includes the research questions and the hypothesis part. Accordingly, the research answers possible differences that may occur if physical world theories are applied and the factors that affect the perceptual form of urban environments in virtual landscapes. In the fifth chapter, with two different survey analyses regarding experiment one and experiment two sections, the methodology part comes. Experiment one includes the wayfinding-related survey on World of Warcraft and compares the results with physical world results. Experiment two takes place in designed areas by the researcher to assess the D: H ratio perception in the virtual environment. Similar to the first experiment, it compares the results with the physical world optimal values. Finally, in the sixth chapter, the thesis results are concluded, and the discussions around the future possibilities of the provided method and its capabilities are made to enlighten the field for further studies.
Thesis (M.Sc.) -- İstanbul Technical University, Graduate School, 2023
Anahtar kelimeler
natural landscape, doğal peyzaj, landscape architecture, peyjaz mimarlığı, virtual architecture, sanal mimari