The empirical, theory-based and artistic exploration of the effects of spaces on its users is a young scientific field, but its relevance for architecture and interior design cannot be estimated high enough. The effects of spaces, objects and media environments to their users, plays for the later acquisition a central role and should therefore be considered in any planning and design process.
But the systematic study of human-space relationship is until now practiced only at a few institutions in Europe. Especially the distinct methodological expertise of social sciences in the field of empirical analysis has so far only occasionally made its way into the formation of designers. At the same time and in practical every-day work in recent years more and more effort was put on the orientation of interior design on the users and to find suitable instruments. These are approaches such as human-centered design, universal design, social design, design for all.
Existing teaching and research programmes
In this context, the interdisciplinary research focus "PerceptionLab” of Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences was established in 2008. Nine teaching areas have come together, from interior design, ergonomics, product design, lighting design, furniture design, media production, computer aided design to human and social sciences. The declared aim of this research facility is to make the effects of space empirically measurable.
The activities of “PerceptionLab” led to a broad international resonance, and subsequently to an exchange with those teaching and research institutions working in a similar context. Through the international exchange it became apparent that university facilities in other European countries work in the same file with different methods.An exchange of methodology and specific approaches was so far conducted only sporadically. For this reason, this Summer School will serve as the initiation of an international network of expertise in teaching and research. The foundation of "Perception Network" will follow the Summer School with the participation of universities from England, Turkey, Switzerland, Brazil, Colombia and Germany.