Differences between young architects' and non-architects' aesthetic evaluation of buildings



Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Frontiers of architectural research
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foar.2019.04.001
Keywords Aesthetic preferences; Building aesthetics; Environmental aesthetics; Environmental apperception; Professional opinion shift;
Description Previous studies showed significant differences between expert architects and laypeople in aesthetic evaluations of buildings. However, studies exploring the aesthetic preferences of architecture students are lacking. The present study focused on a population of students and young architects to explore the aesthetic opinion shift within architectural careers. This study was intended to be a conceptual replication of the study of Brown and Gifford (2001) in a Central European context. A total of 109 participants (21–28 years old) evaluated 40 randomized pictures of houses to detect whether non-architecture undergraduates and fresh graduates of architecture would express different aesthetic preferences compared with their peers from the general population. The study also examined whether laypersons can predict the preferences of architects, and vice versa. Results show a trend that is contrary to the original research, that is, young architects and laypeople did not significantly differ in their aesthetic evaluations of the given stimuli. Analyses revealed high prediction ability in young architects and their non-architect peers. Moreover, the existing professional experience of young architects had no influence on the accuracy of their estimations. Findings suggest that the professional shift in architects’ expertise is obscured at an early career stage, as revealed in their aesthetic preferences.