REAL team receives Research Innovation Award.

During the SiGraDi 2022 Critical Appropriations Conference, a team of REAL researchers including Isa He, Humbi Song, Zach Seibold, Ibrahim Ibrahim, and PI Allen Sayegh received the SiGraDi Research Innovation Award for its innovative methods in quantifying the human experience in built environments.

The SiGraDi Research Innovation Award aims to recognize the research shortlisted for its highest score in the peer review process and that were selected by an evaluation committee led by the Chairs of the Scientific and Editorial Areas of SIGraDi.

Stay tuned for the full paper!

Join us at SiGraDi!

REAL Researchers, Isa He, Humbi Song, Zach Seibold, Ibrahim Ibrahim, and PI Allen Sayegh will bill be presenting at the XXVI SiGraDi Conference Critical Appropriations 2022.

Register here to join us at the Interdisciplinary Design and Codesign session (D2.S2.B) on Thursday Nov 10, 2022 at 13:00.

LDT Industry Advisors Meeting 2022

The Laboratory for Design Technologies (LDT) is a collaborative platform that brings together Harvard University’s research units with a select group of industry advisors to engage in forward-looking, speculative, and imaginative research. Discussions with industry advisors took place on June 2022, with REAL Lab members Allen Sayegh (PI), Humbi Song, and Isa He participating and presenting.

Research on biometric method for spatial experience accepted to ECADE 2022 Conference.

We are excited to have been selected to present our research, “A Biometric Method for Spatial Experience Analysis: A Case Study of Airport Design and Traveler Stress” at The European Conference on Arts, Design & Education 2022!

Join us if you can! 

A Biometric Method for Spatial Experience Analysis: A Case Study of Airport Design and Traveler Stress


Why do certain built environments and events induce stress? How does the design of our spatial environment affect our mental state? What can we do to measure and understand these interactions? Interdisciplinary collaborations between architecture and psychology have given rise to a new frontier of architectural research, and emerging biometric sensor technologies lead to innovative research methods that can provide a unique insight into human spatial experiences. This research uses the passenger experience of air travel as a case study for prototyping methods of quantifying and understanding individual spatial experience. The airport presents a potent case study environment; though significant energy has gone into engineering the passenger experience, the prevailing cultural perception of air travel remains tinged with unease and anxiety. The presented research outlines a methodology for quantitatively measuring the passenger experience of the airport design: equipping passengers with biometric electrodermal activity (EDA) sensors – a biomarker significantly correlated to emotional stress response, analyzing first-person video footage worn by participants to map contextual information, and conducting interviews to assess the participant’s perception of the air travel experience. A dashboard was then developed to facilitate visual cross- referencing and analysis of aspects of airport design and social stressors at airports with the biometric data of the passengers and their self-reported perceptions. The overall aim of this research is to identify key elements to help rethink and redesign airport architecture and experience. Future research can utilize this methodology to facilitate speculations on alternative scenarios for designing not only airport architecture but also other analogous public spaces.

Author Information:

Humbi Song*, Isa He*, Zach Seibold, Allen Sayegh.

* Co-first authors

Read the full paper here!