Human Interaction with the Built Environment

In today’s society, the human race is constantly exposed to environmental dangers and disasters.  Our built environments have proven to have a direct effect on our overall health and well-being.  As architects and designers, we are always faced with design challenges that revolve around our end-user’s sensory experience within the built environment.  Knowing this, our team has considered the idea of allowing our growing population to document their own built environment, while also mapping their surroundings through the use of Geographic Information System software.  By creating a product that can continuously document things like air quality & ultra-violet exposure within the built environment, we can then utilize current biometric technology to measure the human response to a specific region or area. This would benefit personal health in two ways; the first would allow individuals to monitor their surrounding environment and identify the types of environments that benefit their well-being and the second would allow the design community to identify areas that considerably toxic & harmful in order to deploy a concentration of sustainable design strategies to improve the built environment within these specific areas.

This product could be used as an accessory, home unit, or a deployable kiosk that would be strategically placed throughout different built landscapes.  The product could aid in the promotion of both physical & mental health areas.  In urban areas, for example, a product like this could identify areas of poor air quality in order to notify the user of any harmful chemicals or gases.  In other rural areas, like the beach or woods, this product could identify ultra-violet light exposure through body temperature and sun exposure which would allow the user to identify a healthy or harmful amount of sun exposure.  Overall, the product would measure the user’s biometrics to create a sensory response report that will allow the user to identify specific areas within the built environment that appeal more or less to them.

Architecturally & technologically speaking, the results from this product could be fed to a GIS software that would allow designers to identify areas of toxicity or clean air.  This information would provide the ability to map out the air quality and UV exposure in various geographic areas.  By documenting this we can identify areas of improvement within the built environment, while also helping users navigate the built environment in the healthiest way possible.