From architects’ terms to computable descriptions of spatial qualities

S. Key, M. D. Gross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Architects speak of space and place using terms such as enclosure or privacy. These terms imply certain patterns of use and inhabitation. Spatial qualities in this study are the terms used to describe experiential qualities, encapsulated descriptions of the geometric configuration and their relationships to the building user. To demonstrate how architects might computationally describe various meanings of the forms that affect the building user, we compiled a list of keywords from an architectural pattern set and computed two terms based on geometry and visual perceptual relations. We present the result of an empirical test to suggest a simple computational representational framework to push the current domain knowledge to the next level utility in developing more design tools and languages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-196
Number of pages24
JournalSpatial Cognition and Computation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Computational representation
  • architecture
  • describing design patterns
  • domain-specific spatial language
  • visual spatial relations


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