I’m delighted to announce that I’ve been awarded Spar Nord Foundation’s Research Prize this year, 2021, for my PhD thesis. I need to thank a lot of people for their efforts and unwavering support.
My thesis, Expecting Space: an enactive and active inference approach to transitions, is a philosophical, psychological and cognitive neuroscientific approach to the experience and impact of architectural transitions. Central to the thesis is the ecological concept ‘affordance’, that I take as a relational measure between body, brain, and environment. The research results show that we are practically minded with the body in the center. By measuring brain activity as people perceive transitions, it turns out that the brain considers how I can move as part of what I can perceive. The results also pointed out that our expectations have a continuous impact on both the brain and the body. This means that we continuously expect how the rooms can be used. When we enter a space, our experience of space depends not only on our senses, but also how we can use the space. A surprising conclusion, especially from an architect’s point of view, is that our experience of the world is designed in time and expectation rather than just in space. Architecture is thus more than space alone. The thesis brings together science, humanism and biology , and thus take architectural research into a whole new field, where it is no longer space alone that plays a role, but both the human body and the brain are introduced.