Design Geometry

Using virtual reality, Shemesh, Leisman, Bar, and Grobman empirically evaluated human responses to different spaces via an assortment of sensors including EEGs, GSR (galvanic skin response), and ET (eye-tracking).  They found that “The larger the simple and symmetric VS [virtual space], the more positive the response (the limit is unknown), and the smaller the symmetric VS, the more negative the emotional response. A curved, large-scale VS is associated with a more positive emotional response than a large square VS. . . . The significantly greatest level of emotional reactivity and discomfort were recorded when participants were presented with proportions of significantly narrow width [2m X 4m x4m; standard option was 2.6m X 4m X 4m]. . . . If we wish to design spaces which create a high level of excitement, we may use extreme proportions or scale. . . . However, narrow spaces, we have found, are experienced significantly more often as distressing, regardless of expertise or advance familiarity.”

Avishag Shemesh, Gerry Leisman, Moshe Bar, and Yasha Grobman.  2022. “The Emotional Influence of Different Geometries in Virtual Spaces:  A Neurocognitive Examination.”  Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 81, 101802,