Session A: 9AM – 10:30AM

Architecture: Session A – Poster Presentations, Ballroom, Union

Location: Ballroom, A. Ray Olpin University Union

Is Ornament in Architecture beautiful or criminal?
Jacob Harris, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

Ornament in architecture is the placement of sculpture or art on a building. This design strategy is common in classical architecture, and ornament can be seen on doors, windows, columns, cornices, facades, and more. In the eye of the classical architect this adds to the overall beauty of classical buildings. It is common for modern architecture to utilize little to no ornament. A famous modern architect by the name of Adolf Loos was even bold enough to refer to ornament in architecture as a “crime”. The classical architect sees ornament as good, whereas the modern architect sees ornament as bad. This research project seeks to understand what the average person is drawn to when it comes to this topic, whether that be ornament or no ornament. Using an eye tracking emulation software it is my hypothesis that the average person is more attracted to a building with ornament. I will be doing a comparison of two temples built by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that reside in the same city. This includes the Provo Utah and Provo City Center temples. Using the software I will be able to determine where people are more likely to look as well as their gaze sequence. This study aims to reinforce that an increase in ornament will hold our attention more than a building without it.

Designing for the Eye: Using Virtual Reality to Test Proportions in Intercolumniation
Ben Varnell, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

The poetic use of classical architecture to portray beauty though proportions is being lost in the modern world. Architectural theorists, Vitruvius and Le Corbusier, agreed that beautiful architecture uses the proportions of the body to bring harmony between all the parts of a structure. A challenge architects face today is communicating their designs using plans and sections to those who have trouble visualizing the three-dimensional qualities of two-dimensional drawing. In his research article “The Digital Perception of Architectural Space,” Hugo C. Gomez, a professor of architectural urbanism in Peru, found that virtual reality is the most “highly-rated medium” to understand and visualize architecture. The current research builds upon Hugo’s findings and will present what proportions in intercolumniation are most pleasing to the eye by utilizing three mediums to collect data: three-dimensional virtual reality environment, 360 augmented reality images, and two-dimensional images. Participants in the survey were asked questions evaluating their visual preference and comfort levels of five SketchUp-modeled Tuscan columns. These columns were rendered and displayed in the virtual reality helmet using the software Twinmotion. The sample size of this survey comprises 55 non-architects who are untrained in the classical rules of proportion. Data was collected using the Likert scale via a google form. The constants in the study are the height and size of the column and entablature of the Tuscan order and are based on the proportions specified by The American Vignola. The variable in the study is the spacing between the columns. Each spacing was created using the square, golden ratio, or double square in the vertical or horizontal directions. Survey results showed that the most visually pleasing and comfortably spaced columns used the golden ration spacing in the horizontal and vertical directions. Further research methods could entail the use of other classical orders or a comparison of modern and classical designs.


Tiny Home Housing Project for Utah’s Homeless Community-The Other Side Village
Jose Cisneros Jr., Snow College
Eli Beagley, Snow College

Faculty Mentor: David Barker, Snow College

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

Professor Barker, my advisor, is a brand new faculty member who was recently hired at Snow College to teach in the Construction Dept.  He comes from an architectural design background.  This year, we are able to construct a tiny home which will assist in the development of the prototype “The Other Side Village” designed specifically  to assist with the homeless concerns in Salt Lake County.  A similar village to this was constructed in Austin, Texas, and recently received approval by the Salt Lake City Council and Mayor.  This planning project has received quite a bit of news media attention recently.  I am excited be part of this project and learn about building design, social concerns, and how the architectural design and construction industry can assist society in addressing these issues.


The Anatomy of St. Pauls Dome
Taylor Cherrington, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Other: High School

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

St. Paul’s Cathedral features an innovative triple dome structure that advanced building methods through religious traditions from late medieval methods. Even though the building exterior evoked classical tradition. When Christopher Wren designed the dome at St. Paul’s Cathedral, he did so without using any exposed scaffolding, he demonstrated the ability to control the construction process in its structural essence. The inner dome revolves around a circular drum that is visible from the cathedral interior. Above the inner dome, a brick coned structure rises to support the 850-ton lantern. This cone also supports the enclosed wooden structure beneath the frame of the outer dome. This three-dome system allowed Wren to support such a heavy lantern, while achieving a great height needed to be a historical London landmark. With the use of 3D printing for the study of cultural content to comprehend the principles that stand at the base of a circular dome. These principles are necessary to understand the work of the architect and the reasoning behind time-honored construction that explores the future of architectural design. By constructing a three-dimensional model these principles can be easily explained and understood. The result of this study should produce a greater understanding of building strength and stability in architectural construction of historical methods of design.


Newness or Classical? Using Visual Attention Software Method to Test Viewers’ Reaction to Architectural Images
Ping Kei Cheung, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

Juhani Pallasmaa, the architect and former dean at the Helsinki University of Technology, proposes the idea that great work requires a sense of historical continuum; “An embodiment of the sense of tradition’ as a precursor for ‘meaningful creativity.” Great work has an eternal freshness, it attracts our eyes immediately when we see the structure. In our age of progress, our eyes are only on the present and the future. Uniqueness and novelty have become universal standards of quality in architecture, rich historical layers are no longer seen as essential architectural goals. However, classical architecture still stands the test of time and engagement in this modern day. My research aims to find out why classical architecture is more engaging and pleasant. What is the relationship between classical architecture and history/culture? My research methodology involves using the 3M Eye Tracking Method. It is an artificial intelligence application developed using experimental data from eye tracking. It will analyze images of different buildings (Dresden Museum in Germany, Musée du Louvre, Havenhuis) to predict audience responses to images. Diagrams and analysis from 3M Eye tracking will be provided to explain why classical architecture is more engaging. I am expecting to find out that classical architecture is more engaging and Pallasmaa is correct. If these findings are correct, we should follow the precedents of the past in order to produce great work.

A Study on the Classical Orders and Personality Types
Blake Gneiting, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

The five classical orders have often been associated with gender, and occupational roles throughout history. This project is to determine if there are still ties between the classical columns and people. This will be explored by firstly discovering if traditional ties to gender and occupation and the orders still exist today and then will test if there is a correlation between personality types and the classical orders.  The classical orders have been tied to physical and occupational traits of people in the past and will be tested in this study to see if these ties and others exist today. This study will be conducted in the form of a survey gathering general demographic information and a series of questions to determine personality types based on Don Lowry’s True Colors personality quiz and to evaluate preference of the classical orders. Expected results of this study include that woman and those who work in white collar professions will tend to prefer the Ionic, Corinthian and Composite columns while men and blue-collar professions will be more inclined to prefer Tuscan and Doric columns. This will be displayed in a series of graphs and charts showing correlations between genders, ages and occupations to five orders.  It is also expected to find strong correlations between personality types and the orders. This will also be displayed in series of graphs and charts showing which percentage of those who participated in the survey correspond to personality types as well as rankings of column preference.


Testing Visual Sameness and Materiality
Zachary Cooper, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

In what ways does the material affect a craftsman and their connection to the thing they are crafting? What materials are best suited for architectural ornamentation? In order to explore these questions I have decided to make or build the same architectural ornament four times using four different materials; stone, wood, plaster, and 3D printed plastic. Each involves a different level of involvement by the craftsman. This will allow me to discover which crafting methods most connect a craftsman to the piece they are crafting. I suspect that my experience will determine that the plaster will be the most involved piece in this circumstance, followed by wood, and then stone and 3D print. This is because the level of involvement I will have in each of these methods will directly reflect which I feel the most connected to. I will also be conducting a short research survey by laying out all four of the finished ornaments and asking questions in order to see what the general public’s perception is as to which of the four materials are most desirable, most authentic, or most reproducible. I suspect that wood will be the most desirable material because of its natural qualities with the grain and richness of color, followed by the stone piece since it will also have some natural quality to it, but also its texture and sense of weight or strength. I suspect that the plaster mold will be liked because of how it feels more sculpted and artistic than the others might. I suspect the 3D print to be the last one because it is plastic, hard, and gives a fake feel. Materiality is extremely impactful on the end user experience and therefore this research will inform me on the importance of utilizing the best and most appropriate materials per a given application.


Reassessing the Authenticity of Place: Lessons Learned from Venice and Las Vegas
Steven Hawker, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro , Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

The Venetian hotel is one of the largest hotels in Vegas. Based around Venetian Architecture, there are many elements, attractions, and famous landmarks from Venice recreated in various ways all around the hotel. But how does this experience translate from the original authentic architecture to the recreations made as attractions for guests? In this study I will be utilizing photoshop simulated 3D eye tracking software, as well as a survey of architectural students and professionals in order to dive into whether or not the authentic experience of seeing these architectural elements was effectively translated from Venice, Italy to the Venetian. I will then compare these two separate case studies in order to see how the software compares to the “real world experience”. The software will take A.I. data and create a color map of what areas the eye is most drawn to on an image. The survey will ask to compare how authentic each image feels, but will be limited to just people that work in the Architectural industry. This will in turn help distinguish if there is a difference between the general populace and a more trained eye when it comes to experiencing these recreations, and will help give a more well rounded understanding of what the Venetian does in their creation of place and user experience. I expect to find that both from the software and the survey, the results will show that the experience and context of being in Venice will always be the more authentic experience, and that the Venetian cannot truly capture what it would be like to be on the streets of Venice. I don’t expect to see a major difference between the survey and A.I results. While the Venetian can recreate the elements, context and authenticity of place can never be truly recreated.


The Embodiment of Place: Studying Through the Lens of French Architecture
Taylar Jensen, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro , Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

ABSTRACT: How we perceive the world around us and what gives a place its identity can largely be perceived through the built structures we are constantly surrounded by. Place identity can be defined as design features, architectural elements, the building process, materiality, symbolism, texture, and color. Characteristics such as context, environment, and architectural elements can give meaning to a place helping us discern one from another. Identity helps define the connection between the built environment and culture. In order to understand how the built environment affects the identity of a place, this study looks at the top ten places to visit in France. The study of these locations will be broken down into how many pertain to built structures and environments. Key characteristics such as motifs, ornamentation, building style, materials, etc. will be examined and studied. From these findings and noticing similarities between the ten locations, we will determine if place identity has to do with the built structures in said place. We will identify the identity of the place and how the culture and environment shaped the architecture. Or how the architecture shaped the culture and environment. The ten locations being studied will include The Eiffel tower, Miser de louvre, chateau de Versailles, cote d Azur, mint saint Michael, Loire valley chateaux, cathedral notes dame Chartes, Provence, Chamonix Mont Blanc, Alsace villages. This study aims to reveal that the identity of a place can be identified through the built structures it is surrounded by. Key architectural details can speak the name of a place better than words and communicate culture to all educated levels just by being perceived through the lens of your eye.


The Human Body is Architecture: How the Human Body Informs the Proportions in the Corinthian Order
Jayne Lee, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

As humans we want to be able to relate to our surroundings. Those interpersonal connections in architecture let us connect to the outside world. My goal is to find out what proportions in the Corinthian order relate to the human body and how I can implement those proportions in my future design projects. The human body and classical architecture are interconnected. Architects took the proportions of the human body and included them into the elements that created their buildings. The span of a column is based on the width of the human reach. The entablature proportions are based on the human face’s proportions. The column height is based on the height of a human head. Each element is influenced by the thing we interact with most, ourselves. By researching this subject, a greater knowledge of why certain elements were designed to look a certain way, and a greater understanding of what the thought process was behind each of the classical elements in the Corinthian order is developed. In order to show these findings in a creative and understandable way, I will be creating an analytique showing these proportions compared to the Corinthian order.


Does it matter where we learn? Insight into nature’s benefits for educational building design for architecture students
Jordan Meyer, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

Daylighting in buildings has been a topic of research in both architectural and neuroscientific fields of study. In the realm of higher education, research is beginning to blossom regarding the positive impact of daylighting in learning environments for any level of student. Likewise, views of nature add to this positive learning experience with deep, inherent neurological effects (also known as biophilia). The effects are generally higher brain activity and reduced overall stress-two characteristics that arguably determine academic performance. The intent of this study is to add to this rather unknown research niche and promote the incorporation of windows with views of nature into classrooms to give students an adequate learning environment. Architecture students at Utah Valley University are tasked with relatively difficult projects that require both hemispheres of the brain. These students were surveyed about their individual preferences in classroom design and how it impacted their learning experience. They were also questioned about what views were ideal in the classroom. Ultimately, this survey supports the previously stated evidence, highlighting that students viewed sunlight as one of the most important design features of a classroom, with a standpoint that sunlight has a “positive impact” on their overall learning experience. In addition, survey results show an overall consensus that natural elements in their view from the window are preferred and helpful in their learning experience. To confirm the survey results, Artificial Intelligence eye-tracking software was applied to photos of the classrooms that these students learn in. The software showed increased attention to natural elements through the view of the window-confirming the biophilic response that is innate in human nature.

Contemporary Sustainable Architecture
Sara Miner, Utah State University

Faculty Mentor: Marissa Vigneault, Utah State University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

Architecture and design often reflect socio-political concerns. For example, contemporary architectural practices focused on sustainable design and materials evidence the increasingly important role art, architecture, and design occupy at the forefront of conversations and solutions around climate change.  As carbon emissions continue to rise and global climate change is becoming ever harder to ignore, it is imperative that architectural design incorporate sustainable materials and practices accessible to all. Using data from artists, architects, and designers, who are often working in geographic areas more susceptible to climate change, my presentation will focus on answers to the following questions:
i.          How does contemporary architecture and design reflect increased awareness of environmental concerns?
ii.         How have architectural and design practices changed in response to demands for sustainability?
•          Do developments in sustainable design correlate with changes in carbon emissions?
iii.        How are regions that are more susceptible to the effects of climate change leading discussions around sustainable architecture, technology, and design?
•          How is Utah addressing this at State and University levels?
My presentation will focus on sustainable architecture, its historical roots, and its contemporary application to areas particularly susceptible to climate change. I will share my research and analysis of Utah-specific solutions to climate change, including the state’s overall sustainability practices, the construction of LEED-certified buildings and environment-friendly designs on university campuses, and site-specific examples of sustainable design. This includes a case study I will conduct on-site of Community Rebuilds in Moab, UT, as well as first-hand study examples of sustainable architecture in Salt Lake City.

Imitation is a Form of Flattery and Learning: how the method of imitation can produce new designs in stained glass windows
Rebekah Phillips, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon  Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

‘Imitation is a form a flattery…and learning: How the method of imitation can produce new designs in stained glass window’

There is a misconception that imitation and copy are one and the same. An ongoing debate in the realm of art and architecture is that to imitate one work is equal to creating an exact replica. However, imitation is a crucial method in learning to create and develop originality. To elaborate, imitation is using influences to shape one’s work into something new and different by studying past models, models meaning art, buildings, or other creative works. A copy, however, is creating a model to be identical to the model studied. But this does not mean copying is bad. Copying is the first step to this learning process. “First, do as I do to then reach an understanding to possess as your own creative process.” The purpose of this project is to show how studying past models can create a new design. The process for this creative project is to draw replicas or copies of window designs, then with each drawing, create a new stained glass window design by taking the best parts of each drawing and combining it into one design. This method of imitation applies to many other scenarios, not just the drawing aspect. In architecture school, the study of precedents is highly encouraged. Like in this window design experiment, students analyze building facades, floor plans sections and elevations and study proportions and geometry to use in their final designs. Window details and motif designs can be applied as a floor plan shape or garden design. Imitation of nature is often used as well to create furniture designs, patterns for fabric or wallpaper. Imitation is an important process that involves the study of past designs to aid one in developing the creative skills to produce a new model or design. Copying is a part of this process and is the first step to learning new creative skills. One important aspect of imitation is to study many precedents to build a list of references to draw from and generate ideas in the numerous creative work fields.


Constructing a Typology of Latter-day Saint Temples
Killian Poulter, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon  Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) the most sacred spaces are temples. In these buildings considered the “House of the Lord” members of the Church take part in saving ordinances of the most significant degree. As such, the architecture of the temple is a significant part of the cultural identity for members of the Church. Throughout the history of the hurch there have been numerous architectural designs that identify a temple.
This project will look at the typology of LDS temple exterior design and attempt to distill it down to its most fundamental parts to determine what makes a temple recognizable. This has relevance for practicing design firms in Utah and around the globe as temple design and construction is a global endeavor. Cataloging temple typologies can create a guide for architects working in this field and help them to strike a balance between creating a building that is unique but identifiable while creating harmony with the local context. The primary focus of the project will be a cataloging of temples and their major design types. It will be visualized by a large matrix that will organize a representative sample of temples from diverse time periods and geographic locations to demonstrate typologies found in temples. This will show what design types exist and how many temples share these features. It will also show how temples and the type categories have changed over time. This can determine if there are typologies shared by all temple exteriors and help designers in creating new temples that are both distinct and recognizable.


BEAUTY AND JUDGMENT: Analyzing Libeskind’s Modern Additions to Classical Museums
Madison Rosser, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro, Utah Valley University

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

Background: Daniel Libeskind has designed modern additions to classical buildings throughout his career.
My research project revolves around the subject of architectural beauty and judgment. This topic was chosen because the presentation of the relationship between coexisting architectural elements needs to be explored. An analysis of judgments made towards buildings that meet the criteria listed below will be performed. It will be interesting to discover which architectural elements will attract more attention- the classical or the modern elements. When one comes across a building’s façade, they make an immediate and subconscious decision of what exactly draws their attention. Two buildings will be analyzed through eye tracking emulation software. These two buildings will meet the following criteria below:

  • The building has an addition/extension designed by Daniel Libeskind.
  • Both modern and classical architectural elements coexist on the building’s main façade. The building is a museum.

The following points listed below will be evident throughout this research project:

  • Beauty is measurable.
  • Formal and spatial beauty help create a successful façade.
  • There are physical characteristics that help identify beautiful buildings.

Using the Photoshop 3M VAS software, an experiment will be conducted to analyze two buildings (that meet the criteria listed above) to analyze the user’s experience further. Located in Germany, the main facades of both the Military History Museum and the Jewish Museum will be analyzed.
It is proposed that the software will reveal that the classical architectural elements will draw more attention than the modern architectural elements on a building’s façade.


The Influence of Traditional Architectural Design on the Subconscious – An Analysis On Disneyland Using 3M-VAS Software
Cassidy Johnson, Utah Valley University

Faculty Mentor: Brandon Ro

SESSION A (9:00-10:30AM)

The purpose of this project is to explore the relationship between time and architecture. More specifically, how buildings constructed using the principles of classical architecture generally withstand the ever-changing trends and fads of the current era. To understand this phenomenon, we will compare buildings that were designed using classical and modernist theories of design. The purpose behind this comparison is that these two principles are diametrically opposed in their consideration of time as an influence on design. To illustrate how classical and modernism differ in how they view the past, present, and future we will look at one of the most popular theme-parks in the world as a case study; Disneyland. Within Disneyland there are examples of classical architecture, like the Magic Kingdom Castle, and examples of modernism like Tomorrowland. Using these structures along with biometric tracking tools, like 3M-VAS (Visual Attention Software), this study will explore how the use of sacred geometry, precedents, and cultural experiences influences how these structures withstand the passing of time. The VAS. will illustrate how classical architecture creates a more unified experience from the viewer’s perspective. As individuals look at images of Magic Kingdom’s Castle this can help explain the hypothesis VAS will detect similar patterns of eye movement and individuals will spend more time viewing similar structures comparative to when they view images of Tomorrowland. Classical design principles create a more unified experience across viewers and elicits a stronger emotional response. This explains why classical design remains relevant over time compared to modernism. This occurs because the Magic Kingdom’s castle is based on proper aesthetic principles and the castle elicits strong emotional response in humans, a phenomenon discovered by Vitruvius. Thus, it could be said that the castle of Disneyland is what brings the ‘magic’ into the Magic Kingdom.


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Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research 2023 - Program Copyright © 2023 by Office of Undergraduate Research is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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