message_123395

Professional Practice
 
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Hey Everyone,

I'm keenly interested to know the job prospects of a psychologist as a consultant in an architectural firm.

I have completed my thesis work, which was related to post-occupancy evaluation of residential building regarding the relationship between satisfaction, perception and the residents' QOL (Quality of Life). I don't have any knowledge of architectural science, but have a good basis in the psychological aspects of building.

I am living in Bangalore (India) right now, and tried searching, but am unable to find it. I am also interested in going outside of India. Kindly show me the right path.
Shubhra Kannan
Responses
 
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Shubhra,

Yours is a very intersting topic. However, instead of architectural firms, have you ever approached builders/developers who deal with the post-occupancy scenario on a day-to-day basis?

They do have architectural departments.
Chitradeep Sengupta
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Hi Shubhra,

I'm a final year architecture student doing my thesis on a childrens' hospital, with the study based on the psychology of children, their behaviour, the responses of the 5 senses etc.

I have looked through a few research papers, and would be extremely grateful if you could help me since it is your field of study.
Anugraha Devadhas
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Shubhra,

A psychologist is useful for those architectural practices which specialise in designing buildings for clients who are not the 'end users'.

From what you say, you have already studied the gap in viewpoint between clients who are not 'end users' and the users who have to live the buildings.

The main bone of contention between clients who are not end users and the users is the way the maximum profit is obtained from the mimimum of building.

Building which which are designed for clients who are not end users, tend to provide the bare minimum (or less) as per the regulations as though the 'end user' people were mindless animals.

And this obvious disregard for the 'end users' in turn leads them to not being very interested in helping to maintain the buildings or surrounding spaces.
Frank John Snelling
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Meaning that Shubhra has a job prospect with these people also?
Chitradeep Sengupta
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Chitradeep,

meaning that a psychologist can act as an intermediary between users and non-user clients. Psychology is not a precise science, but it can indicate trends and predict trends.

Designing buildings for a non-user clients means that the clients will never live or work in the buildings they commission and therefore there can be no precision in the design because the prospective users are usually not consulted on the design.

Architects are then left with the role of "estimating the needs of the users" without having any precise information or feedback.
Frank John Snelling
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Hi,
I'd like to know about the psychological aspects of building, as in how a built space influences the mind positively or negatively. How can a particular space create a particular effect on the mind? Could you please suggest some reading materials?
Loretta Rego
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
I believe that you could easily join an architectural firm that specialises in designing psychiatric hospitals.

There you can work on healing environments and help the architects as well as the patients.

I have done similar work; it's wonderful.
Mansoor Ahmad
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Hi Anugraha,
I will really be happy if I could be of any help to you. You are always welcome.
Shubhra Kannan
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
This is an interesting subject. I am not an expert, but I remember reading Umberto Eco (Culture of Information and Communication), Italy, who explained that we need previous knowledge about things to be able to use them.

His example was the use of new apartments by poor villagers who had never had water toilets. They had been washing olives in it.

Architectural theory deals with many topics of interest, like cultural backgrounds, light, contact with nature, (e.g., the work of Frank Lloyd Wright), impact of high rise buildings, size, density etc.

As architecture is for people, it is important to understand its function and human behavior.
Smiljka Soretic
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Hi Shubra,

I would be so grateful if you could suggest reading material pertaining to my study topic, which is the psychology of children and how hospital environments could be designed accordingly. I have looked at a few research papers on the internet.

I am kind of clueless on how to go about with the analysis and how to group the children based on age groups which would respond similarly. I would like you to advise me on this; thank you so much.
Anugraha Devadhas
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Loretto,

Hmm, "How can a particular space create a particular (positive or negative) effect on the mind?"

First, you need to be aware that psychology is unable to be precise because statistics are used as its main scientific tool, and statistics are in fact approximations of reality.

Therefore psychology can detect trends in the way people think, but only in general terms. So trends can only be guidelines and should never be used as absolutes.

The way people view life varies from culture to culture. Yes, some points are common because human physiology is the same, but every human language creates and uses its own internal logic to create a cultural viewpoint which is not based directly on human physiology.

How a culture views and lives with its usual climate and environment changes from culture to culture. So to assume that (a) every human has the same response and therefore (b) every human has the same response to similar physical conditions, is asking for trouble.

One major difference is "individual private space" or the amount of free space needed around a person, so that they feel comfortable. This can be applied to architecture as the spatial needs of a culture for both individual (private) and group (public) spaces.

Another (but mostly ignored) difference is the change in viewpoint between the states of being young and being old. The size and shape of buildings existing when today's old people were young is more familiar and so more comfortable to them than today's architecture. This fact is either forgotten (or not even imagined) when young designers design homes for older people. This generational blind spot effectively reduces quality of life for older people, even though the designer thinks that his or her design must be the best because it's in accordance with the latest design theory.

"Sick Building Syndrome" is a known phenomena which has a negative effect upon people. The main features of "sick buildings" are that windows do not open and that the light is mainly artificial.

I think that the principal reason for Sick Building Syndrome, when people become so upset that they "go sick" rather than work, is the "unchanging and unchangable nature" of the air and light in the building.
Frank John Snelling
A psychologist for an architectural firm?
Shubhra,

I work in an architecture firm which has inhouse 'end user' consultants. They both happen to be nurses - one is experienced in the OT area and the other in facilities operations - they both co-ordinate with bio-med engineers and architects within the firm. Since nurses are the ends users/care-givers in hospitals that interface most with patients and physicians, their input as far as design/facility-operation goes is considered very valuable.

As far as psychology of spaces goes, the profession (architecture) here tends to rely heavily on published research. Much of this falls under "Evidence based Design".

I suppose you could be a consultant especially if you've contributed to a large body of knowledge in the relevant areas that architects would be interested in (essentially "Evidence"). There are a few doctors in the US who studied architecture (mostly PhDs) because they just weren't happy with the way hospitals were designed. They tend to consult - most firms can't afford to have them as permanent staff!
Manasi Kashyap
Search

Thumbnails
View

This site is adjusted only for landscape mode. Please rotate your device for properly using Archnet.org
We are sorry, we are still working on adjusting Archnet.org for Metro IE. Please use another browser for the best experience with our site.