Research at Kyushu University

Research Projects and Initiatives

Recent Studies at Faculty of Design

How do individuals evaluate and judge their environment? Examining end-user evaluation and decision-making methods for environmental design

Department of Environmental Design , Faculty of Design
Professor Naoyuki Oi

 Our research lab focuses on investigating the evaluations of urban and architectural environmental design, particularly the evaluation and decision-making methods of individuals, and how those findings can be utilized within the designing process.
 In conventional research on environmental evaluation, specific words (scales) are utilized for evaluative experiments to examine what type of environment is considered as suitable. However, what psychological scales are applicable for the evaluation of an actual environment are rarely known. Although an individual might be able to make some sort of evaluation when asked based on a specific scale, the problem lies in the fact that it does not necessarily reflect what that individual feels about their environment on a daily basis.
 If the overall concept and scope of the target space are established, Evaluation Grid Method and Caption Evaluation Method allow for the examination of the user’s evaluation structure without utilizing such scales. Oi Lab has also utilized these methods on various target environments and published a great number of research findings.

Caption Evaluation Method: In a real environment, take a picture of things that interest you, considering the reasons for evaluation and organizing them.

Evaluation Grid Method: Have multiple elements be compared to determine their superiority and inferiority, asking the reasons and organizing them.

 However, potentially, some evaluations cannot be confined to specific rooms or spaces. For example, if one were to be tasked to determine what are healthy living spaces, there are no specific environment in which one can link directly to one’s health. It is therefore necessary to consider the entirety of behavior settings in relation to their behaviors, location, time, and surroundings. As such, we developed a new Image Grid Method which has allowed us to understand the perceptions held by the individuals.

Image Grid Method: Recall the scenes that lead to a concept in detail, asking the reasons and organizing them.

 By aiding the designers to understand user decisions and perceptions, we will continue to aim at establishing a design process for environmental designs that goes beyond the information gathered by the individual designers and exceed their ideas.

Department of Environmental Design , Faculty of Design
Professor Naoyuki Oi