Exploring an Architectural Framework for Human-Building Interaction via a Semi-Immersive Cross-Reality Methodology

Binh Vinh Duc Nguyen , Adalberto L. Simeone , Andrew Vande Moere

HRI '21: Proceedings of the 2021 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction, March 2021, pp. 252–261

DOI: 10.1145/3434073.3444643

From left to right: a photo of the home of participant P4+P5; its virtual simulation; its simulation with a responsive wall in condition MF, and participant P3 experiencing the semi-immersive cross-reality simulation of her home.

The addition ofthe wall for the deployed conditions within the homes of (a) P1+P2 and (b) P4+P5. Each diagram shows one or multiple wall locations that was used for each condition in the experiment as red lines.

A subset ofthe questionnaire results that illustrate how the five conditions impact four human experiential measures of space. These results show that participants considered MF and DFF to be more quiet, MC felt private and cozy, DFC is protecting, and CFF is sociable.

A comparison between the participant homes and their respective abstracted virtual simulation. From left to right: the homes of P3, P4+P5 and P6.

The architectural framework for human-building interaction proposes how the provisional location of a responsive wall can provoke particular architectural qualities that in combination facilitate or hinder diferent atmospheres to occur.

The three spatial operations of a responsive wall, which can either divide, modify or connect one or more adjacent functional zones and/or one adjacent circulation zone.

According to the framework, this basic foor plan can afford a Focus atmosphere by locating a responsive wall at at least four potential locations.


The vision of responsive architecture predicts that human experience can be evoked through the dynamic orchestration of space-defining elements. Whereas recent studies have robotically actuated furniture for functional goals, little is known how this capability can be deployed meaningfully on an architectural scale. We thus evaluated the spatial impact of a responsive wall on the inhabitants of ordinary apartments. To maintain safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, we developed a novel remote, semi-immersive cross-reality simulation evaluation methodology. Based on the orchestration of three space-defining operations, we define a theoretical framework that suggests how the position of a responsive wall can be determined through five distinct architectural qualities. This framework thus proposes how human-building interaction (HBI) could complement its functional goals with augmenting the well-being of occupants in the physical as well as the virtual realm.