SPATIAL-VERSUS OBJECT-ORIENTED ARCHITECTURAL ENVIRONMENTS: PREFERENCE AND PERCEPTION1


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Abstract

Summary.This study examined changes in perceptual response and preference for a specific category of architectural environment by age groups. Understanding relationships among age, perception, and preference is important in creating more appropriate environments. The hypothesis was that individuals who score field-dependent on an Embedded Figures Test would prefer architectural environments which support spatial orientation, while individuals who are field-independent would prefer environments without information on spatial organization or an object-oriented space. It was also hypothesized that children and elderly persons would score more field-dependent and prefer spatially orienting spaces. 64 subjects ages 4 to 85 years were recruited from local schools, various organizations for seniors and adults, given the Embedded Figures Test to measure field dependence, and were compared. Their scores were compared by preference for one of the two environments. Hypotheses were not supported for the spaces overall, however, clear patterns regarding seating preference were identified. Children and seniors had significantly more field-dependent preferences.

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