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ERIC Number: ED534219
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 182
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-6085-2
Designing Environments for Manageable Wayfinding
Wan, Peng-Hui Maffee
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Carnegie Mellon University
Wayfinding is a kind of spatial riddle that people encounter almost daily. Although it has been well documented that wayfinding elements--namely, environmental cues, people and time--significantly influence wayfinding, there has been little work done to examine the effectiveness of those influences. In particular, the notion of wayfindingly manageable environment is investigated in the dissertation. A wayfinding task is termed as manageable, whenever a way-seeker successfully navigates the task. When a significant number of wayfinding tasks in an environment are determined to be wayfindingly manageable, the whole environment can be claimed as wayfindingly manageable. "How cues are arranged so that an environment becomes wayfindingly manageable?" is the main research problem considered in the dissertation. This is illustrated through a consecutive three-step development process of theory, visualization and simulation, which looks at the issue from both environment-centered and people-centered perspectives. The first step, engages in the environment-centered perspective, in developing a measure for calculating manageability for wayfinding, expressed in terms of variables at the level of decision points, pair of decision points, routes, tasks and environment, through a paper-based experiment and statistical analyses. The second step is to develop a visualization/simulation approach to apply the criterion of wayfinding manageability considered from both environment-and people-centered views. As a first pass, the measure of manageability developed in the first step is employed in the visualization to explore the issue at the environment-centered level. From the people-centered view, an agent-based modeling simulation is considered in which people-agents are have settings for wayfinding strategies for different wayfinding tasks and associated with time-based benchmarks. Wayfinding-decision processes involving people-agents, namely, wayfinding strategies and time-based benchmarks are retrieved from a computer-based experiment and statistical analyses. The last step in the development process is implementing an agent-based modeling application in which environmental cues are behavior-control agents, and way-seekers are rule-based people agents. Both one-way passive and two-way interactive environmental cues are captured in the application. Different wayfinding tasks for a single environment with different settings for sign-placement are used as proof of concept for demonstrating wayfinding manageability. The ultimate goal, of course, is for this agent-based modeling application to be a design tool for navigable environments through generative manipulation of wayfinding elements, mostly, environmental cues. This dissertation, developed from studies in psychology, is an attempt to make an original contribution to our understanding of the design of wayfindingly navigable environments, in particular, in architecture and environmental graphic design. The methodology comprising experiments, analyses, visualization, and simulation employed in this dissertation is expected to be applicable to other behavior related studies in the fields of design, architecture and psychology. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A