Exploring Individual Differences and Building Complexity in Wayfinding : The Case of the Seattle Central Library

Kuliga, Saskia and Nelligan, Ben and Dalton, Ruth and Marchette, Steven and Shelton, Amy and Carlson, Laura and Hölscher, Christoph (2019) Exploring Individual Differences and Building Complexity in Wayfinding : The Case of the Seattle Central Library. Environment and Behavior, 51 (5). pp. 622-665. ISSN 0013-9165

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This article focuses on the interactions between individual differences and building characteristics that may occur during multilevel wayfinding. Using the Seattle Central Library as our test case, we defined a series of within-floor and between-floor wayfinding tasks based on different building analyses of this uniquely designed structure. Tracking our 59 participants while they completed assigned tasks on-site, we examined their wayfinding performance across tasks and in relation to a variety of individual differences measures and wayfinding strategies. Both individual differences and spatial configuration, as well as the organization of the physical space, were related to the wayfinding challenges inherent to this library. We also found wayfinding differences based on other, nonspatial features, such as semantic expectations about destinations. Together, these results indicate that researchers and building planners must consider the interactions among building, human, and task characteristics in a more nuanced fashion.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Environment and Behavior
Additional Information:
The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Environment and Behavior, 51 (5), 2019, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2019 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Environment and Behavior page: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/eab on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? building complexityindividual differencesspace syntaxspatial behaviorwayfindingenvironmental science(all) ??
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Deposited On:
05 Nov 2019 16:45
Last Modified:
15 Jan 2024 00:17