Phenomenological evaluation on wayfinding in complex educational buildings: The case of ITU Faculty of Architecture

Çavuş Ö.

Journal of Computational Design, vol.2, no.1, pp.285-312, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 2 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Journal Name: Journal of Computational Design
  • Journal Indexes: Other Indexes
  • Page Numbers: pp.285-312
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Orientation programs have a significant role in adaptation of novice students to the faculty building. These programs are mostly prepared by faculty staff or authority figures who have already known the building, so they may not descend to the level of those who are inexperienced of the faculty. Even if students are informed about the places in these programs, it can still be hard in finding places particularly in complex educational buildings until they get used to. Hence, experience-based approaches facilitating wayfinding are needed to cope with the problem. In this research, it is aimed to reveal the reasons for confusion and reference points students take in wayfinding through by phenomenological evaluation of the building. Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Faculty of Architecture is selected as a case study due to its complexity in wayfinding. A head-mounted GoPro is placed to 20 novice students and 10 senior students as a control group, and students are asked to find a target point and return to the initial point following the shortest path. The obtained results are then evaluated according to the measuring techniques proposed by Moles (2004), since the measurement needs to answer ill-defined situations obtained from experiences. As visual recordings of participants are compared in regards with the architectural mass, comparison and equality judgment, contrast or antinomy, and weight coefficient techniques are particularly utilized among the provided techniques. Beyond the expected data, the results of the study provide information about the factors, methods, and priorities that are effective in decision making. This research would contribute to the literature in showing how data set is created based on direct experience of users in wayfinding in complex educational buildings.