Faculté des Sciences appliquées
Faculté des Sciences appliquées

The impact of architectural representations on conveying intent : A quantitative study

Cunin, Maxime ULiège
Promotor(s) : Elsen, Catherine ULiège
Date of defense : 2014 • Permalink :
Title : The impact of architectural representations on conveying intent : A quantitative study
Author : Cunin, Maxime ULiège
Date of defense  : 2014
Advisor(s) : Elsen, Catherine ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Leclercq, Pierre ULiège
Verly, Jacques ULiège
Language : English
Discipline(s) : Engineering, computing & technology > Civil engineering
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en ingénieur civil architecte, à finalité approfondie
Faculty: Master thesis of the Faculté des Sciences appliquées


[fr] Architects have to express themselves graphically in order to communicate ideas,
both to clients they need to convince and to themselves. To do that, they appeal to
a variety of representations supposedly faithfully carrying their initial intent.
Research to date has demonstrated how “experts” designers and “non-expert” lay-
people differently perceive, or on the other hand share, visual understanding
( Alcantara et al., 2005; Bates-Brkljac, 2007 ). It is yet unclear how architects themselves
use different types of representations to express different intentions, and how their
expected audience more or less successfully captures those intentions. The
purpose of the present study is consequently to refine understanding of how
differently a non-expert public captures the initial message of an architect, and
what role representations do play in this understanding process. This study
presents the results of a survey including roughly 700 lay-people’s responses to
different forms of architectural representations, i.e. hand-drawings, CAD models
and computer renderings. Results show that the computer representations are
mostly perceived as conveying the same intents by the lay-people. Yet, renderings
convey slightly more faithfully the intentions as intended by the architect than the
CAD model. Our results suggest that low-end representations constitute the most
efficient mean of architectural visual communication, being the best balance
between success of conveyance of the architectural intent and time commitment.
These findings can be used as guidelines to maximize the value of the feedback
architects receive from the lay-people during the decision making process.



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  • Cunin, Maxime ULiège Université de Liège - ULg >


Committee's member(s)

  • Leclercq, Pierre ULiège Université de Liège - ULg > Département ArGEnCo > Lucid - Lab for User Cognition & Innovative Design
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Verly, Jacques ULiège Université de Liège - ULg > Dép. d'électric., électron. et informat. (Inst.Montefiore) > Exploitation des signaux et images
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
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