Honors Theses


Misty Thomas-Trout, MFA


Art and Design

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


Space is one of the most basic foundational systems for living things. No matter what happens in the world, it happens in a spatial setting. The specific design of that setting or place plays a large role in the lives of those within it.1 Other factors within place—factors that might inform design choices—also affect perception of place. Broad consensus exists in scholarly literature about the general role that history, culture, environment and social factors play into the perception of place. Past studies have supported that our perception of reality before actually observing it, actively affects the reality we then observe.2 In other words, certain factors constantly influence the way in which we process information and interpret space. However, a confirmatory analysis of this model, especially in regards to the specific categories influencing perception, has yet to be conducted.

Therefore, the purpose of this study is to expand upon and further explore the notion of such categories in space analysis and neighborhood design. I am looking to find if the application of this method will reveal varying differences in internal and external perceptions, and the level to which they may or may not vary. I am interested in further exploring the ways in which such knowledge can then lend itself to the creation of more informed and effective neighborhood-based design, especially centered on bridging potential gaps in understandings of place within Dayton, Ohio. It is hoped that this research will educate designers, urban planners, and community leaders, in addition to the broader public as to what is affecting the spaces they are functioning within and their personal perceptions towards location. Success with this approach will provide a powerful social model for advancing communication across various levels of perception, as well as cultures and languages.

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This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes


Undergraduate research


Art and Design