Workshop 1: Design cognition and behavior: Usability in the built environment


Many thanks to everyone who participated! The workshop proceedings can be downloaded here

Workshop Outline

The schedule for the workshop can be downloaded here PDF


The list of accepted contributions can be downloaded here PDF.

Call for Papers

This call can also be downloaded as a PDF.

Goals of workshop

The workshop examines individual spatial cognition of the built environment from the perspective of the user and the designer. It aims to bring together researchers interested in how people behave in the built environment, using both psycho-physical and agent-based approaches.

The workshop aims to bring together researchers using different approaches in order to discuss design cognition of the built environment. Currently, various techniques and tools are being used for analysing and simulating how individuals interact with their environment, either through linking the structure of the environment with user behaviour (through spatial analysis techniques eg. space syntax), or by simulating different levels of human cognition using automated sensorimotor systems (agent-based methods). The analysis of how individuals and groups use the built environment feeds directly into evidence-based design. Both virtual and real world experiments can be used, as well as hybrid environments, which combine elements of both. Running virtual agents through models of the environment allows for an in-depth analysis of how people might move around such a space in the real world. The level and nature of the cognitive input that such agents might have is a topic of discussion for the workshop.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Spatial cognition from the designer’s perspective e.g., how does a designer anticipate the usage of a building, how does a designer imagine the user's perspective (perceptual, cognitive and behavioural perspective); how can technical tools support such processes in design?
  • The role of agent-based simulations for understanding spatial behaviour
  • Methods for developing cognitive agent models including evolutionary and learning agent architecture
  • Computational and theoretical models of embodied cognition
  • How research on design cognition might inform evidence-based design
  • Methods and findings from the user perspective on natural movement, wayfinding and navigation in the built environment
  • Environmental modelling techniques to predict or postdict different patterns of pedestrian movement incl. but not limited to space syntax methods


Participants are invited to present short papers of 2-4 pages. These can present preliminary findings, or work in progress, or position statements. In addition, participants are invited to submit an abstract for a poster presentation. Contributions will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary review-committee, and published as electronic proceedings.

All submissions should be formatted according to Springer LNCS guidelines (lncs-guidelines) and should be sent via email to

Key dates

Abstract submission                               29.06.2014

Camera-ready paper submission            27.07.2014

Notification of acceptance                      15.08.2014

Workshop                                                15.09.2014

Advisory Committee

Katerina Alexiou, Open University

David Brown, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Ruth Conroy Dalton, Northumbria University

Andy Dong, The University of Sydney

Christoph Hölscher, ETH Zürich

Alan Penn, University College London

Theodore Zamenopoulos, Open University


Beatrix Emo · Kinda Al-Sayed · Tasos Varoudis

Bartlett School of Graduate Studies, UCL


Beatrix Emo,