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Title: Three-dimensional spatial navigation in real and virtual museums
Author: Lazaridou, A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 0493
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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A key issue in the architectural design of atria museums is the variety of ways users can interact with the three-dimensional layout of space to create emergent patterns of spatial navigation. This issue is addressed in the context of a coherent body of literature which, together with space syntax theory and method, real time observations, agent-based models and virtual reality environments provides a specific rigour in the spatial analysis of the layouts and exploration patterns. The intention is to evolve an overview of these three-dimensional spatial and navigational aspects; thus enriching the development of the two-dimensional space syntax approach and contributing to a better understanding of the architectural design of museums. Most space syntax studies on human navigation focus on spatial characteristics and route choices in two dimensions and have not yet properly addressed the effect of the third dimension on exploration. This thesis studies three European atria museums: the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the Acropolis Museum in Athens, which, taken together, provide a basis for investigating the theoretical and methodological questions of this thesis. The analysis begins from the apparent similarities among the museums, creating a suitable background for exploring critical differences with regards to their spatial layout and visiting patterns. The results deriving from this analysis are then used to create systematic variations in the virtual reality (VR) experiment being conducted at the Ashmolean Museum, examining correspondences between users’ experiences in the real and in virtual environments. Significant analogies are demonstrated between real and virtual behaviour with the findings showing how the museums’ three‐dimensional architectural design impacts significantly on the navigational processes of visitors. Although the atria in all three buildings are used as compositional devices structuring relationships between exhibition spaces and the three dimensional organisation of buildings, there are significant differences in terms of how this relationship is structured and the differing impacts produced on navigation patterns and gaze directions. The present study ultimately leads to a deeper understanding of architectural design regarding three-dimensional museum environments, and its implications for users’ social and cognitive processes.
Supervisor: Psarra, S. ; Hanna, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available