University of Oulu

Ville Paananen, Jonas Oppenlaender, Jorge Goncalves, Danula Hettiachchi, and Simo Hosio. 2021. Investigating Human Scale Spatial Experience. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 5, ISS, Article 496 (November 2021), 18 pages.

Investigating human scale spatial experience

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Author: Paananen, Ville1; Oppenlaender, Jonas1; Gonçalves, Jorge2;
Organizations: 1Center for Ubiquitous Computing, University of Oulu, Finland
2School of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne, Australia
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Association for Computing Machinery, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-12-10


Spatial experience, or how humans experience a given space, has been a pivotal topic especially in urban-scale environments. On the human scale, HCI researchers have mostly investigated personal meanings or aesthetic and embodied experiences. In this paper, we investigate the human scale as an ensemble of individual spatial features. Through large-scale online questionnaires we first collected a rich set of spatial features that people generally use to characterize their surroundings. Second, we conducted a set of field interviews to develop a more nuanced understanding of the feature identified as most important: perceived safety. Our combined quantitative and qualitative analysis contributes to spatial understanding as a form of context information and presents a timely investigation into the perceived safety of human scale spaces. By connecting our results to the broader scientific literature, we contribute to the field of HCI spatial understanding.

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Series: Proceedings of the ACM on human-computer interaction
ISSN: 2573-0142
ISSN-E: 2573-0142
ISSN-L: 2573-0142
Volume: 5
Issue: ISS
Pages: 1 - 18
Article number: 496
DOI: 10.1145/3488541
Host publication: 2021 ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces Conference, 14-17 November, Łódź, Poland
Host publication editor: Nichols, Jeff
Conference: ACM Interactive Surfaces and Spaces Conference
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This research is connected to the GenZ strategic profiling project at the University of Oulu, supported by the Academy of Finland (project number 318930), and CRITICAL (Academy of Finland Strategic Research, 335729). Part of the work was also carried out with the support of Biocenter Oulu, spearhead project ICON.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 318930
Detailed Information: 318930 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
335729 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: ©2021 Copyright held by the owner/author(s). Publication rights licensed to ACM. The final authenticated version is available online at