The effects of interior design on wellness – Eye tracking analysis in determining emotional experience of architectural space. A survey on a group of volunteers from the Lublin Region, Eastern Poland
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University of Economics and Innovations of Lublin, Poland
Lublin University of Technology, Lublin, Poland
Center for Addiction Treatment, Lublin, Poland
Medical University, Lublin, Poland
Deptartment of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick (NJ), USA
Wioletta Tuszyńska-Bogucka   

University of Economics and Innovations of Lublin
Introduction and objective:
Using the concepts of Ulrich’s theory of supportive design and Malkin’s healing environment, an eye tracking experiment was designed in order to measure respondents’ reactions while looking at visualisations of various interiors, with the aim of verifying whether certain parameters of an interior are related to emotional reactions in terms of positive stimulation, and the sense of security and comfort.

Material and methods:
12 boards were designed, incorporating standard features of an interior, i.e. (1) proportions, (2) lighting, (3) colour scheme of a room, as well as (4) the colours and spatial arrangement of furnishings. Respondents’ reactions were recorded with an eye tracker Tobii TX300 and supplemented by self-descriptions of emotional reactions.

The results showed that the varying spatial and colour arrangements presented in the interior visualisations provoked different emotional responses, confirmed by pupil reaction parameters, as measured by the eye tracking device.

Architectural space can have a diverse emotional significance and impact on an individual’s emotional state. This is an important conclusion from the point of view of optimising and creating the so-called supportive and healing environment. The results have implications for the interpretation of the pupil diameter as an index of emotional reactions to different architectural space visualisations. Testing the eye tracker as a method helpful in diagnosing the emotional reactions to features of the interior is justified, and can provide an effective tool for early diagnosis of the impact of architectural space on the well-being of individuals. It can also be a good form of testing the emotional significance of architectural designs before they are implemented.

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships which could be construed as creating a potential conflict of interest.
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